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State Appeals Court Ruling that Portions of Marcellus Shale Law Unconstitutional

The appeal was announced Friday.

, the Public Utilities Commission appealed the decision to the state Supreme Court.

The court on Thursday found that portions of Act 13 that stripped local zoning control away from municipalities as unconstitutional following a challenge filed by a cluster of communities and others represented by Cecil attorney and solicitor John Smith.

“We anticipated the appeal and we’re fully prepared to go forward and defending the Commonwealth Court’s decision,” Smith said when reached Friday afternoon.

In a press release, Gov. Tom Corbett announced the appeal. 

“The provisions struck down by the Commonwealth Court are critically important for job creators who are employing more than 240,000 Pennsylvanians, for landowners seeking to exercise their property rights, and for local governments looking for guidance on how they may reasonably regulate oil and gas operations,” Corbett said. “The provisions are also integral to the enhanced environmental standards and impact fee revenue portions of the Act. Indeed, there would be no Act without each of these crucial pieces.”

The statement continued: “It is important to note that the provisions casually set aside by the court were the result of months of compromise and negotiation, with significant input and support from Pennsylvania's local government associations,” Corbett said. “Both the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, which represents 1,455 municipalities, urged passage of the law. This decision endangers the jobs of tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians and deprives citizens of their property rights.

Corbett added: “It is the General Assembly and Governor's prerogative to establish policy; it is the court's job to pass judgment on the constitutionality of this policy, not its merits. Act 13 clearly meets the constitutionality test, and I am confident the Supreme Court will adhere to its responsibility in a prompt and timely manner."

To read about the court’s decision Thursday, .

To read about local reaction to the decision, .

cecil resident July 28, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Thank you Governor Corbett for standing up for the land owners and the right for them to use their mineral rights. Keep fighting we need to keep the gas and oil industry in our state.
Marc July 28, 2012 at 04:27 PM
A one-term governor indeed who will become another mouthpiece for the gas industry. How about the rights of the people to have clean water, clean air, and stable property values??? That is much more important than gas and jobs! How about the rights of individual communities to control, via zoning, where these destructive activities can occur?? Don't be duped and scammed by this arrogant, self-serving, and destructive gas industry. (No, I don't heat with gas). Can't drink it either, and neither can you!
cecil resident July 30, 2012 at 05:53 AM
Read the article Observer-Reporter monday 7/23/2012 By Kevin Bego AP (Experts say some critics of fracking using bad science)This will blow your theory of clean water, clean air right out of the water. This whole area at one time had gas and oil wells everywhere , McDonald had them right in there back yards. And surprise no one has two heads the grass is green and we have trees except where housing plans destroy them. If you think you can survive with out oil and gas in this country you need to do some research. Over 6000 commonly used items come from oil and gas in one form or another like the commutor you just typed on , cell phone, baby aspirin, any form of plastic item, and the list goes on check it out. Of course we can always get it from terrorists riddled countries and pay top dollars for gas and heating oil and they can send over a few terrorists with it to show us how dumb the American citizen are for not using their own resources. We could put a wind farm next to you house and you can listen to the swish all day long I bet it wouldn't raise your property value. Then we have the wonderful solar panels oops forgot they are going bankrupt right and left. And who needs good paying jobs the government will keep us right until they go backrupt to.
cecil resident July 30, 2012 at 05:56 AM
One more thing Marc I forgot electricity power plants a lot more are switching over to gas instead of coal because it is cleaner but I suppose you don't use lights neither
EX Hill Stationer July 30, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Marc You talk about clean water and what the drilling is doing to our water. Lawrence aka Hill Station continues to dump all there sewage right into Chartiers Creek. The township sold sewage capacity to Valley Brook Country Club in PetersTownship while there own residents go without. look at your own local government before attacking Gov. Corbett. Proud American keep up the good work of keeping the sheep inform.
cecil resident July 30, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Thank you EX hill Stationer I have been to meetings where Range and Dawson asked the township to work with them and they just all sit their( well not all just the majority). They even sit up a test with a golf ball and tee placed 20 to 25 feet from an operating truck and it didn't move the golf ball, not to someone moved it within approx. 5 feet did it move slightly. Then when they started to do their testing they are out their with tape measure and stopped them on state roads not township roads. Evidently they were wrong because the next day or two they where back on 980 with a state trooper in front and back of the trucks while they did their testing. I have had contact with Dawson concerning the monitors (the boxes and wires) they use to monitor when using the thumper trucks and they have gone above and beyond to do what we asked of them. I just feel something as hugh as this is in our state it needs a uniform law . I better clarify the footage on the test of the thumper truck I am not 100% sure but it falls within that type of range it had to be extremely close for the ball to move I don't want to be accused of lying.

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