Judge to hear suit to halt Pa. gas-drilling law

A state judge will hear a request for an immediate injunction against Pennsylvania’s new Marcellus Shale law filed by a group including seven municipalities that says it unconstitutionally takes away local powers to control land use.

The Commonwealth Court hearing was scheduled for Wednesday in Harrisburg. The approximately 120-page lawsuit was filed March 29.

Opponents of the sweeping, six-week-old law say it prevents municipalities from protecting homes or businesses, and possibly even schools or parks, from drilling activity that could damage a community’s quality of life and property values. Land-use provisions are scheduled to take effect in a few days.

Gov. Tom Corbett’s office says the administration is confident that courts will uphold the law, and members of the natural gas industry say overturning it would hurt them.


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