PEC Statement on the Decision of the Commonwealth Court Regarding Act 13

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July 27, 2012

Yesterday the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania issued a significant decision that reaffirmed the constitutional rights and responsibilities of local governments to enact rational and necessary controls on natural gas activities. The decision also invalidated provisions of Act 13 that inappropriately expanded waiver allowances to permit siting standards for unconventional gas wells.

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council fully supports and commends the Commonwealth Court's decision. Responsible development of natural gas in Pennsylvania requires thorough consideration of our unique community and natural resources, with appropriate site-specific and regional protections in place as a result of that analysis.

Responsible development of natural gas is important to the people and economy of Pennsylvania, but of equal importance are appropriate community, health, and environmental protections. The Court’s decision ensures that Pennsylvania’s Oil & Gas Act better meets those goals.