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Commonwealth Court Issues Opinion Holding Portions of Act 13 (the new Oil and Gas Law) Unconstitutional

In an opinion issued on July 26th, the Commonwealth Court ruled in favor of several PA municipalities in their challenge to provisions dealing with zoning restrictions on oil and gas activities in Act 13 enacted this year. Specifically, the Court held that Section 3304 “violates substantive due process because it allows incompatible uses in zoning districts and does not protect the interests of neighboring property owners from harm, alters the character of the neighborhood and makes irrational classifications”. Therefore the Court declared Section 3304 unconstitutional and null and void and permanently enjoined the Commonwealth from enforcing it. A strong dissent accompanied the opinion and the issue is likley to next go to the PA Supreme Court. For more information, please contact Steve Beckman at sbeckman@mijb.com or 814-870-7610.