Pittsburgh City Council plans to back the opponents of Act 13.
Although Pittsburgh was not one of the municipalities that originally decided to challenge the zoning language in the law, the nine members of council agreed unanimously to support the groups that filed suit. Pittsburgh will join 4,000 other municipalities given a voice by the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors before the Supreme Court on Oct. 17.
The Act 13Signed into law by governor Tom Corbett. This law will further protect the environment as well as tighten the regulations on the natural gas industry. battle began almost two months ago when Act 13Signed into law by governor Tom Corbett. This law will further protect the environment as well as tighten the regulations on the natural gas industry. zoning provisions were thrown out in a Commonwealth court panel.
At that time, the court ruled that Pennsylvania cannot take zoning control away from local municipalities.
Gov. Tom Corbett signed the law in February creating an impact feeImposed by commissioners. A fee charged to the drillers for wells placed on county land. Money is usually set to be based on a formula that uses the number of wells in each community or based on how close the community is to an active Marcellus well. 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 declared the zoning provision null and void, and a separate provision that allows environmental officials to waive setback requirements for gas wells was also overturned.
One day later state officials appealed the court’s decision.