The Pennsylvania municipalities of Cecil, Peters, Robinson, Mount Pleasant, South Fayette, Yardley, and Nockamixon, as well as a Monroeville doctor, activists from the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and some municipal officials have filed a lawsuit in the Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, alleging that lawmakers “unconstitutionally intruded on local zoning duties by mandating where drilling can occur,” the Post-Gazette reported.
The lawsuit names the Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer, Public Utility Commission chairman Robert Powelson, and Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly.
The lawsuit says, “By crafting a single set of statewide zoning rules applicable to oil and gas drilling throughout the commonwealth, the Pennsylvania General Assembly provided much sought-after predictability for the oil and gas development industry. However, it did so at the expense of the predictability afforded to … the citizens of Pennsylvania whose health, safety and welfare, community development objectives, zoning districts, and concerns regarding property values were pushed aside to elevate the interests of out-of-state oil and gas companies and the owners of hydrocarbons underlying each property, who are frequently not the property owners.”
Plaintiffs also criticize a provision that forbids physicians from disclosing information that they may gather when treating patients potentially affected by fracking activities, regarding any trade secrets.