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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Court Rules Zoning Can Restrict Drilling Locations

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court has ruled on two cases that will frame how the gas drilling debate is played out in Nockamixon.

Nockamixon's sprint to maintain local control over gas drillers just took another turn.

The state Supreme Court has ruled on two cases in western Pennsylvania that will surely echo across county lines.

In written decisions Thursday, Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices sided with the state's authority to control gas drilling, deeming that local laws cannot be in conflict with state regulations already in place.

But the court also confirmed that local officials do have the right to zone where in the municipality drilling can occur.

Supervisor Chairwoman Nancy Janyszeski was pleased with decisions, saying the zoning rights mentioned were an important distinction.

"It's good. It allows the township to use zoning to determine where they can control drilling," Janyszeski said Sunday, emphasizing that Nockamixon ordinances currently allow companies to drill only on properties zoned industrial or the quarry. "It also gives a good footing to move forward," she said. "It's given us clarification now." More....

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