Pittsburgh City Council To File Brief Backing Local Control Of Drilling Regulations

Pittsburgh City Council To File Brief Backing Local Control Of Drilling Regulations

Pittsburgh City Council President Darlene Harris announced Friday that council will file an amicus brief in support of upholding the state Commonwealth Court’s ruling that portions of Pennsylvania’s new law governing Marcellus Shale is unconstitutional.

Although Pittsburgh was not among the seven municipalities who originally challenged zoning language in Act 13, the council agreed unanimously to join 4,000 other municipalities represented by the PA State Association of Township Supervisors to support the challenge before the State Supreme Court.

The Pennsylvania State Supreme Court will begin to hear oral arguments on the state’s appeal of the decision on October 17 in Pittsburgh.

“We at the local level, suburban, urban or rural, fully appreciate what is at stake here,” council President Darlene Harris said in a statement. “For Pittsburgh to have no voice at all on this issue would be a dereliction of our duty as councilpersons to look out for the property rights of all people who live or own property in the city through our zoning code.”

Harris added that Monroeville, Murrysville, West Homestead and other local municipalities are doing the same.

She continued: “This brief is simply about preserving our city’s self determination; our residents should have a say as to whether a strip club, slaughterhouse, garbage dump, cell phone tower, or a gas well is allowed to be put next to their homes.”

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