Monday, October 5, 2015

Pennsylvania Municipality proposes Amendments to the Zoning Ordinance’s Provisions Regulating Shale Gas Drilling Operations

On September 24, 2015, the Municipality of Murrysville made public a draft of a proposed ordinance amending the provisions of Section 220-31(CC) of the Murrysville Zoning Ordinance No. 833-11 addressing surface operating standards for unconventional oil and gas development. The proposed ordinance would provide for new zoning standards to control oil and gas development.

Following the Robinson Township Supreme Court decision, the Murrysville Council commissioned the Marcellus Task Force in April 2014 to review Section 220-31(CC) in the light of said decision. The Marcellus Task Force released a report in June 2015 offering regulatory options to the Council in order to revise the Zoning Ordinance. The report is entitled “Report of the Murrysville Marcellus Task Force on Revisions to Section 220-31(CC) of the Zoning Ordinance of the Municipality of Murrysville in Response to the Robinson Township Supreme Court Decision.” The report is available at

The proposed ordinance, among other requirements, provides for new setbacks and requires the drafting of a comprehensive gas development plan for all applications relating to proposed drilling operations.

The minimum public review period for the proposed ordinance is 45 days. 

Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow

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