Monday, April 18, 2016

Conventional Drillers Appeal Court Decision Denying Challenge To DEP Drilling Regs

Representatives of conventional oil and gas drillers have filed an appeal of Friday’s Commonwealth Court decision denying their request to invalidate DEP’s Chapter 78 (conventional) and Chapter 78a (unconventional) drilling regulations because they violated the provisions of a 2014 amendment to the Fiscal Code.
The notice of appeal gave no grounds for the appeal.
The result of the Court decision Friday cleared the way for the regulatory review process to continue and for the Independent Regulatory Review Commission to consider the regulations on April 21.
Now that path is uncertain.
In his written opinion, Judge Colins said on the issue of violating the Fiscal Code, “All three Respondents [DEP, Environmental Quality Board and the IRRC] argue that regardless of whether PIPP’s [PA Independent Petroleum Producers Association] assertions are accurate or legally meritorious, no relief can be granted to PIPP in this action because its claims are not ripe.  The Court agrees.”
A copy of the appeal notice is available online.
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