Monday, November 9, 2015

Pennsylvania Township Requests Reconsideration of Decision to Invalidate Community Bill of Rights

On October 26, 2015, Grant Township filed a Motion for Reconsideration asking the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to reexamine its recent ruling invalidating Grant Township’s Community Bill of Rights Ordinance, which prohibits oil and gas waste disposal within the township’s borders.

In August 2014, the Pennsylvania General Energy Company (PGE) sued Grant Township claiming that adoption of the Community Bill of Rights Ordinance would impair its business continuity by requiring the company to find alternative wastewater treatment options. On October 14, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania concluded that the Ordinance was invalid and declared that Grant Township failed to properly apply relevant case precedent in support of its arguments.

Grant Township requested the U.S. District Court to reconsider its decision on the grounds that the court erred in addressing two issues “as to whether . . . there is an inalienable and constitutional right of local community self-government; and . . . whether the people properly exercised that self-governing authority in passing the Community Bill of Rights Ordinance. Grant Township also alleged that the U.S. District Court should have ruled “upon whether the Environmental Rights Amendment is an independent legal basis for the Community Bill of Rights Ordinance.”

Further information on this case is available at docket no. 1:14-cv-00209. 

Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow

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