Energy & Natural Resources
In support of the natural gas and mining industries, Babst Calland’s land use attorneys have handled the myriad of issues which arise at the local government level related to mining and natural gas extraction, processing and transmission. Those experiences similarly position our group to support the growing renewables industry as it encounters obstacles at the local level, including zoning ordinances (with sometimes onerous noise, setback and height limitations), subdivision and land development ordinances, stormwater and grading ordinances, historic district regulations, and building and fire codes, among others.
With respect to zoning and other land use issues, our attorneys:
- Monitor municipal ordinance developments throughout the Commonwealth on behalf of individual clients and trade organizations;
- Identify and evaluate up-front the specific ordinance requirements and processes on a community-by-community basis;
- Develop a community specific application and permitting template for use by our clients’ permitting and land personnel;
- Handle special exception, conditional use and other public hearings for mines, wells, pipelines, compressor stations, processing facilities and renewable energy facilities which can include solar, wind and storage facilities;
- Work to facilitate voluntary amendments to local ordinances that unduly restrict energy development activity, or where necessary, develop appropriate legal challenge strategies on behalf of energy clients, teaming with our energy litigation attorneys;
- Address potential application of subdivision and land development and stormwater management ordinances; and
- Advise natural gas clients on the ramifications of the recently adopted comprehensive overhaul of the Commonwealth’s regulation of the industry (Act 13), and Department of Environmental Protection and Public Utility Commission implementation of and litigation surrounding it.
In addition to traditional land use issues, Babst Calland attorneys regularly advise energy clients on related local government matters, including:
- Enforcement and legality of noise restrictions;
- Excess maintenance (heavy hauling) agreements and associated bonding requirements on weight restricted roads
- The legality of excessive permitting fees;
- Right-to-Know Law (Pennsylvania’s Freedom of Information Act) requests and Sunshine Act (Open Meetings) issues; and
- Local earned income, local service and real estate “clean and green” taxes.
– Blaine A. Lucas
Best Law Firms 2020
Babst Calland Energy practice ranked in 2020 Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms"
by BL Rankings