Friday, March 24, 2017

Judge Throws Out Landowner Challenge To DRBC De-Facto Moratorium On Drilling

StateImpact reported Friday a U.S. Federal District Court Thursday threw out a lawsuit by a group of Wayne County landowners who said the Delaware River Basin Commission lacks the authority to review and approve natural gas facilities on land owned by the group.
The ruling ends one legal threat to a de-facto moratorium by DRBC on shale gas development in the basin that has stood since 2010.
This is the lawsuit that three Pennsylvania state Senators-- Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson), Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) and Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming)-- attempted to intervene on the side of the landowners last October, however, their request was denied by Federal Court in January.  
The Department of Environmental Protection reported in January to DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council that staff from its Oil and Gas Management and Water Resources Planning offices attended a special meeting of the Delaware River Basin Commission November 29 to discuss draft regulations covering oil and gas development activities in the watershed.
The DEP report said, “All jurisdictions reviewed draft regulatory language for oil and gas management and provided direction to the Commission related to the next steps for regulatory actions.
“DRBC will be providing additional edited language for certain sections of the proposed regulations to the jurisdictions as follow up actions. Commissioners from all the jurisdictions will continue to discuss future actions concerning oil and gas activities in the basin.”
No timeline was given on when the Commission might take action on the oil and gas regulations.
Judge Throws Out Landowner Challenge To DRBC Authority To Regulate Drilling

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