Pennsylvania Municipalities Fight Back: Seven Towns Challenge Act 13 in Court
On Thursday, seven municipalities (the Townships of Robinson, Nockamixon, South Fayette, Peters, Cecil, Mount Pleasant Township, and the Borough of Yardley Bucks County), along with the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and a local physician, filed suit in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania against the recently passed Act 13. As I blogged about last month, the Act is a tragedy for Pennsylvania communities – essentially eviscerating their ability to shield against the harms of fracking even in residential neighborhoods. Under the new law, towns may have to allow frack well sites and toxic impoundment pits as close as 300ft from a home, school, or hospital.
After an initial period of disbelief, it looks like towns have now come together to prevent the Act from damaging their communities before it has the chance to take effect. Thursday’s challenge demonstrates that Pennsylvania towns will not allow the State endanger the property, water, or health of their citizens without a darn good fight. Although it is uncertain how quickly this case will come to trial, expect more updates on this issue.