solicitor John Smith said in a court filing Monday that a is now “moot.”
The company requested Cecil allow it to proceed with plans for the facility on Coleman Road just after the passage of Act 13—the state’s new Marcellus Shale law. The legislation made Marcellus Shale drilling, as well as compressor stations, permitted uses.
Smith argues that the company’s request for court relief is null and void because of a
The court struck down the zoning portions of Act 13, which had made drilling a permitted use and stripped local government bodies of their regulatory power.
Smith argued that the township’s should still stand because the Commonwealth ruling reverted zoning control over Marcellus Shale play back to the municipal level.
The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors agreed with the township’s arguments on the matter, entering an Amicus Curiae—or “friend of the court”—brief in support of Cecil’s position.
“PSATS has an interest in this case because its adjudication bears directly and substantially upon the ability of PSATS’s members, including officials from Cecil Township, to effectively fulfill their governmental functions and responsibilities,” an attorney for the organization wrote. “This court’s adjudication of this case, in conjunction with its recent order declaring certain sections of Act 13 of 2012 to be unconstitutional, will also have a direct impact on many municipal governments that have zoning ordinances regulating oil and gas operations.”
The brief continued: “Cecil Township’s preliminary objections are supported by existing law, including this court’s recent orders. A decision in favor of Cecil Township would not only be the correct one, but should also serve to prevent other similar lawsuits from being commenced against Cecil Township and other municipal governments, which will benefit those municipalities by preventing them from needlessly incurring legal fees to defend against meritless lawsuits.”