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Court Requires $5.69 Million Bond For Objector To Well Pad To Move Forward With Appeal

Babst Calland represents an oil and gas operator in Lycoming County, PA, where a recent court order requires an objector to a well pad to post a $5.69 million bond in order to move forward with a land use appeal.  The basic facts of the case are described below.  Inflection Energy (PA) LLC (Inflection) is an oil and gas operator that received conditional use approval for a well site in Loyalsock Township’s Agricultural Rural (A-R) zoning district.  An objector appealed that approval to the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County.  The appeal contained no allegations that Inflection failed to meet any of the objective requirements of the Loyalsock Township Zoning Ordinance.  In response to that appeal, Inflection filed a petition for bond with the Court alleging that the primary purpose of the appeal was for delay, that the appeal was frivolous on the merits, and that the objector should post a bond to compensate Inflection for that delay if the objector chooses to move forward with the appeal.  At the hearing before Senior Judge Brendan J. Vanston, Inflection presented as witnesses two Inflection employees who testified that the objector had stated that the appeal was brought only to delay the development of the well pad.  On November 6, 2015, Sr. Judge Vanston entered an Order of Court finding that the appeal was frivolous and that the objector shall post a bond with the Court in the amount of $5.69 million by December 4, 2015 in order to proceed with the appeal.