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A Compressor Station in your Backyard?

Natural Gas News: A Compressor Station in your Backyard?

The recent natural gas boom in Northeastern Pennsylvania has created large amounts of wealth, construction, and concerns for many local residents. Many homeowners and local governments are uneasy and unsure about what they can do to prevent drilling companies from encroaching on their land and putting them at risk.

As citizens and local governments sought to protect their land from the effects of the volatile untapped resource trapped inside Northeastern Pennsylvania's vast Marcellus Shale rock formations, the state legislature and Governor's office passed a comprehensive oil and gas law commonly referred to as ACT 13.

ACT 13 essentially stripped away a local government's ability to enforce zoning regulations which could prevent oil and gas companies from drilling, fracing, and building compressor stations on privately owned property. ACT 13's sweeping zoning legislation was challenged by dozens of municipalities in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania in the case Robinson Township et al. v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The Commonwealth Court ruled in favor of local governments and held that ACT 13's requirement that municipalities allow gas drilling operations in all residential zones violated the due process rights of the landowners and citizens.

Although the Commonwealth Court protected the rights of local governments and citizens, the Commonwealth and gas company advocates appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard oral arguments on October 17, 2012 and is expected to announce their decision on whether or not to uphold ACT 13 later this fiscal year.

For any questions or concerns regarding ACT 13, please contact a Scranton personal injury lawyer at ROGAN LAW today.