Monday, June 22, 2015

Conventional Well Drillers File Court Action To Avoid Protecting The Environment

The PA Independent Oil and Gas Association announced Monday it filed a petition with the PA Supreme Court last week asking the Court to eliminate DEP’s enforcement of setbacks from streams, wetlands and other natural features as well as protection of public resources like parks, game land or wildlife area, protect endangered species, historic sites and wellhead protection areas.
PIOGA said DEP’s continued enforcement of these requirements is inconsistent with the Court’s decision in Robinson Township to declare portions of the Act 13 drilling law as unconstitutional.
DEP maintains, correctly, it has authority in other statutes to protect these public and natural resources.
“The Supreme Court made clear in its Act 13 ruling that specific well permitting requirements in Section 3215 of the Act were unconstitutional, and denied the department’s request for reconsideration of that decision in February 2014,” said PIOGA General Counsel Kevin J. Moody. “It is unfortunate that PIOGA has had to take this action, but court decisions apply to government agencies in the same way they apply to others, and DEP has ignored the fact that the Supreme Court invalidated and enjoined nearly all provisions of Section 3215 in its decision on Act 13.  Requiring a government agency to obey the law, just as the agency requires others to obey laws it administers, is a win for all citizens and the rule of law.
“DEP cannot continue to require our industry to comply with these invalidated and enjoined provisions without obtaining authorization from the General Assembly,” added Moody.  “In the meantime, however, DEP has simply ignored the court’s determination and is using the Section 3215 decisional process as if the court’s ruling does not exist.  This has forced PIOGA to take action on behalf of its members and the industry to ask the court to enforce its injunction.”
Moody emphasized that existing laws and permitting requirements are more than adequate to fully protect the statutorily designated public resources outside the well permitting decisional process, and the industry will continue to comply with those laws.  
“Natural gas developers protect public resources through voluntary measures as well as by complying with provisions of federal laws that protect threatened and endangered species, and state laws administered by the Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, Fish and Boat Commission and Game Commission,” Moody said.
Copies of the Supreme Court application, Petition for Review and Exhibits are available online.
The attorneys filing the petition for PIOGA are from Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney and Babst Calland, Clements & Zomnir.
Related Story:
Analysis: Myth- Conventional Oil And Gas Drilling Is Benign

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner