Wednesday, April 20, 2016

PA Supreme Court Denies Appeal Of Commonwealth Court Decision Saying Challenge To DEP Drilling Regs Was Not Ripe

The PA Supreme Court Wednesday denied the appeal of Friday’s Commonwealth Court decision  denying a request by conventional oil and gas drillers 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.
This action by the PA Supreme Court clears the way for the regulatory review process to continue and for the Independent Regulatory Review Commission to consider the regulations on April 21.
A copy of the PA Supreme Court’s denial is available online.
In his written opinion, Commonwealth Court Judge Colins Friday 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.”

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