Court orders quick hearing on state oil and gas law challenge

Court orders quick hearing on state oil and gas law challenge


Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Several suburban communities will get to challenge the state’s new oil and gas law in a Harrisburg court next week because Commonwealth Court today allowed for an expedited hearing on their lawsuit.

The communities and other plaintiffs are trying to stop the law from going into effect before April 15. Beating that deadline is critical to any effort to stop the law’s implementation and to get breathing room for municipal governments that are trying to regulate the location and setup of well sites, several lawyers said today.

The court assigned the hearing for 10 a.m. Wednesday, according to an order obtained from the plaintiffs’ lead attorney. It also dismissed a request from an for immediate ruling, saying the expedited preliminary hearing was enough for now.

South Fayette, Cecil, Mt. Pleasant, Peters and Robinson, Washington County are the local suburbs leading several plaintiffs in the case against the state and several state agencies. They claim the law, which allows counties to levy impact fees on drillers, takes zoning powers away from local leaders.

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