The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Reexamines the Environmental Rights Amendment

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has rejected the long-standing test for analyzing claims brought under Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, commonly known as the Environmental Rights Amendment (ERA). In its June 20, 2017 decision in(…)

West Virginia Supreme Court Ruling Potentially Impacts Use of Partition Statute

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia recently emphasized that a party seeking a partition of property by allotment or by sale under W. Va. Code §37-4-3 must strictly follow the prerequisites in the statute — but only those prerequisites. In B(…)

Federal Magistrate Judge Allows Suit Challenging Pennsylvania Township's Injection Well Ban To Proceed

On March 29, Federal Magistrate Judge Susan Paradise Baxter dismissed a motion made by Highland Township in Elk County, PA (the “Township”) and allowed a suit brought by Seneca Resources Corporation (“Seneca”) to proceed. The action filed by Seneca ch(…)

Pa. Commonwealth Court Reverses Controversial Lycoming County Decision

Earlier today, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court issued a unanimous decision in the much-anticipated case of Gorsline v. Board of Supervisors of Fairfield Township, reversing the decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County. In reversing(…)

Zoning Hearing Board Erred When It Denied Application for Natural Gas Compressor Station

On September 26, 2014, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania issued an opinion in favor of MarkWest Liberty Midstream & Resources, LLC.  MarkWest had purchased a 71.5 acre parcel of undeveloped land in Cecil Township, Pennsylvania, and had applie(…)

New York High Court Asked to Re-hear Arguments in Case Banning Oil and Gas Activities

Citing a recently decided case in Colorado, the bankruptcy trustee for Norse Energy filed a motion in early August urging the New York Court of Appeals to re-hear arguments in the case.  In June, the Court of Appeals issued an opinion which affirmed l(…)

West Virginia Officials Seeking Bids to Drill Under Ohio River

As reported by the West Virginia Press Association, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (“DNR”) is seeking bids for natural gas drilling on state-owned land under the Ohio River. A legal notice published on Friday, August 22 indicates that(…)

New York’s Highest Court Upholds Right of Municipalities to Ban Oil and Gas Activities

Today the New York Court of Appeals issued an opinion affirming local zoning laws adopted by two upstate towns that prohibited oil and gas-related activities within their borders.   Specifically, the Court ruled that there was nothing within the plain(…)

Ohio Announces Changes To The Procedure For Unitization Orders Under R.C. 1509.28

On May 9, 2014, the Ohio Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management announced changes in the procedure for obtaining orders approving drilling units.  The procedure, established by R.C. 1509.28, authorizes the Division to approve drilling units that(…)

Allegheny County Council Rejects Proposal To Ban Drilling In County Parks

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Allegheny County Council rejected a proposed three-year moratorium on natural gas drilling within county parks.  The measure failed 2-9, with four council members abstaining because of conflicts of interest.  T(…)

West Virginia Supreme Court Reverses Prior Ruling in Favor of Cabot

On September 26, 2013, in the case of Thornsbury v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (2013 W. Va. LEXIS 958), the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia ruled that, although an oil and gas lease to Cabot affecting surface lands owned by Thornsbury c(…)

PA Municipality Adopts Pipeline Ordinance

In what appears to be a first in Pennsylvania, on March 11, 2013, Forward Township in Allegheny County enacted an ordinance specifically targeting and extensively regulating both transmission and gathering pipelines. While the ordinance is technically(…)

Power Plant Fueled by Marcellus Shale Gas Approved for Lawrence County

LS Power Development LLC, a New Jersey based company, received site approval this week to build a power plant estimated to cost $750 million in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. The plant would be powered by Marcell(…)

City of Brunswick Voices Displeasure With Ohio Drilling Law

City Council members in Brunswick, Ohio, the largest city in Medina County, are voicing concerns regarding state laws which give the Ohio Department of Natural Resources the sole authority to issue oil and gas drilling permits throughout the state. Co(…)

Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District Negotiates Non-developmental Lease with Antero

On January 18, 2013, the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) announced that it has negotiated a 6,700 acre non-developmental oil and gas lease with Antero Resources.  The lease will prohibit drilling or surface development on MWCD property(…)

Drilling in Ohio Parks and Forests Delayed

The formation of an Ohio commission responsible for developing rules for leasing park and forest mineral rights has been delayed for more than a year.  A state law designated a November 2011 deadline for Governor Kasich to appoint the five-member Oil(…)

Jefferson County Commissioners Oppose Underground Injection Wells

WJAC-TV in Johnstown is reporting that the Jefferson County Pennsylvania Commissioners recently drafted and then approved a resolution opposing underground disposal injection wells.  Although there are currently no plans for an injection well in Jeffe(…)

PUC clarifies Act 13 implementation order regarding impact fees

At its December 20, 2012, public meeting, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) clarified sections of its implementation of Chapter 23 (“Unconventional Gas Well Fee”) of Act 13 of 2012 (Act 13) in response to a Petition for Amendment and Cl(…)

Southwest Ohio's Yellow Springs Village: First Municipality in Ohio to Adopt Ordinance Banning Shale Gas Drilling

On Oct. 1, the Yellow Springs Village Council voted 3-2 to adopt a Community Bill of Rights ordinance banning shale gas drilling and related activities in the village. Yellow Springs is the first municipality in the state of Ohio to enact a local Bill(…)