On October 26, 2012, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled in favor of municipalities and ordered the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (“PUC”) to “cease and desist” its review of local zoning ordinances in a hotly contested case concerning recent amendments to Pennsylvania’s Oil & Gas Act. Curtin & Heefner attorneys Jordan Yeager and Lauren Williams are part of the legal team challenging the constitutionality of law, known as Act 13. Curtin & Heefner, with co-counsel, represents seven municipalities, including Nockamixon Township and Yardley Borough, two municipal officials and property owners, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, the Delaware Riverkeeper, and a Monroeville doctor in the litigation.
Act 13 deprived municipalities of the ability to utilize their zoning ordinances to identify appropriate zoning districts for industrial operations connected with natural gas development. In July, the Commonwealth Court struck down portions of the law, and an appeal is now pending in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Despite that favorable decision, the PUC chose to move forward with reviews of local ordinances in mid-August. The latest ruling forces the PUC to stop conducting such reviews.
For more information see: Commonwealth Court to PUC: ‘Cease and Desist’—Release the Impact Fee Money (http://canon-mcmillan.patch.com/articles/commonwealth-court-to-puc-cease-and-desist-release-the-impact-fee-money ) and State PUC Ordered To Cease Act 13 Ordinance Reviews (http://www.law.com/jsp/pa/PubArticlePA.jsp?id=1202576491538)