Thursday, March 31, 2022

Federal Court Hears Senate Republican Caucus Appeal For Standing In Challenge To Delaware River Basin Commission Ban On Fracking

On March 31, the
Courthouse News Service reported lawyers for the PA Senate Republican Caucus and Senators Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) and Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) argued before a Federal Appeals Court they should have standing to sue the Delaware River Basin Commission over its moratorium on fracking.

In January 2021, Senate Republicans filed the lawsuit against the Commission’s fracking ban saying it is a taking of private property without compensation and exceeds the authority given the Commission in its compact.  Read more here.

Sixteen Senate Democrats intervened in the lawsuit to oppose efforts by the Republicans to overturn the DRBC fracking ban.  Read more here.

Bucks and Montgomery counties also opposed the Republican lawsuit.  Read more here.

Last July, the Federal District Court in Philadelphia ruled the Senators did not have standing to bring the case and threw out their lawsuit against the Commission because they did not prove they had been injured by the fracking ban.  Read more here.

It was the second time the Republican Senators have been thrown out of federal court on the same issue when they previously tried twice to intervene in similar litigation brought by the Wayne Land and Mineral Group in 2017.  Read more here.

Both the Courthouse News Service and Bloomberg Law reported the Federal Judges hearing the appeal appeared to be very skeptical of Republican arguments.

The Senate Republican lawsuits are part of an ongoing effort by Senate and House Republicans to overturn the DRBC fracking moratorium on behalf of Wayne County property owners and others in the watershed.

Last week, House Republicans moved ​​House Bill 2450 (Fritz-R-Wayne) and House Bill 2451 (Fritz-R-Wayne) to amend the multi-state Delaware River Basin Compact to eliminate the ban.  Read more hereRead more here.

For more information on natural gas fracking moratorium, visit DRBC’s Natural Gas Drilling webpage.

(Map showing Marcellus Shale formation in the Delaware River Watershed.)


-- Courthouse News Service: PA Republicans Fight For Standing To Challenge DRBC Fracking Regulations

-- Bloomberg Law: Pennsylvania Senators Face Wary Third Circuit In DRBC Fracking Row

Related Articles:

-- Republicans On House Committee Move Bills To Unleash Natural Gas Industry In Pennsylvania, Kill RGGI  

-- Republican Rep. Fritz Introduces Bills To Unilaterally Amend Delaware River Basin Commission Compact To End Fracking Moratorium

-- PA Senate Republican Caucus Files Lawsuit Against Delaware River Basin Commission Over Shale Gas Drilling Moratorium

-- Federal Court Grants Request For 16 PA Senate Democrats To Intervene In PA Senate Republican Caucus Legal Challenge To Delaware River Basin Commission Natural Gas Fracking Ban

-- Bucks, Montgomery Counties Join Opposition To PA Senate Republican Caucus Court Challenge To Delaware River Basin Commission Fracking Ban

-- Delaware River Basin Commission Bans Hydraulic Fracking Drilling Activities In Watershed; Will Develop Regs To Manage Drilling Wastewater

[Posted: March 31, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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