Wednesday, July 3, 2019

State Court Finds Butler County Township Zoning Ordinance Allowing Drilling Does Not Violate Environmental Rights Amendment

On July 2, Commonwealth Court issued a memorandum opinion holding the decision of Butler County Common Pleas Court to deny an appeal of a zoning permit allowing gas drilling a residential-agricultural zoning district pursuant to the Middlesex Township zoning ordinance does not violate the Environmental Rights Amendment to the state constitution.
The decision was the result of an August 3 PA Supreme Court order requiring the rehearing of a challenge to a zoning permit allowing shale gas drilling in Middlesex Township, Butler County specifically on the grounds of whether it is consistent with that Court’s Environmental Rights Amendment decision in 2017.
The challenge was brought by the Delaware RiverKeeper Network, Clean Air Council and several individuals against the Township and R.E. Gas Development LLC.
The Commonwealth Court decision was based largely on the record and extensive consideration of oil and gas development issues by the township during the development of the zoning ordinance which demonstrated they had considered the provisions of the Environmental Rights Amendment in developing the ordinance.
Click Here for a copy of the decision.
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