Decision restores Murrysville's right to regulate shale drilling
A state Supreme Court decision has restored Murrysville officials' rights to regulate Marcellus shale drilling.
Last week, the Supreme Court returned constitutional powers to municipalities and community leaders with a 4-2 decision overturning large portions of Act 13, the state's oil-and-gas regulations.
“I'm ecstatic with what they've done,” Murrysville Councilman Dave Perry said. “They've come back and said that drilling procedures and gathering has an impact on the quality of people's lives.”
Murrysville adopted its own regulations in October 2011, but that ordinance was superseded by the state legislators' adoption of Act 13 in February 2012.
Municipal officials did not support the restrictions of the act. While council did not financially back the legal challenged filed by several southwest Pennsylvania communities, it issued letters of support and backed a plea by the National Resource Defense Council in September 2012. That “friend-of-the-court” brief was filed by a New York City-based nonprofit group that lobbies in favor of environmental issues and against Marcellus shale drilling in favor of overturning the legislation.
Murrysville chief administrator Jim Morrison said council will reexamine its ordinance to see if there is additional information that needs to be addressed.
He said he was pleased that the ruling supported the idea that municipalities can continue to handle zoning locally. “The ruling is pretty clear,” Morrison said. “The industry had an impact on the environment and citizens' rights to clean air and clean water, and local communities have the right to protect that.”
Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.