Act 13 zoning provisions were thrown out in a Commonwealth court panel yesterday.
The court ruled that Pennsylvania cannot take zoning control away from local municipalities.
Gov. Tom Corbett signed the law in February creating an impact fee and determining what municipalities could include in their gas drilling zoning requirements.
In March a lawsuit was filed— by seven municipalities (including the towns of Cecil, Peters, South Fayette, Mt. Pleasant and Robinson; two towns in Bucks County; a Monroeville doctor; and environmental activists from the Delaware Riverkeeper Network)—arguing that the new law prevented protection of the health and public safety of the residents living in those municipalities.
The ruling declares the zoning provision null and void, and a separate provision that allows environmental officials to waive setback requirements for gas wells was also overturned.
This ruling follows another ruling three months earlier when another state appellate judge granted a 120-day injunction to prevent the zoning section of the law from going into effect in mid-April.