Category Archives: Land Use

Energy Company Commences Lawsuits Against Pennsylvania Townships Challenging Anti-Fracking Ordinances

Texas-based Range Resources, a natural gas company, filed a lawsuit against Pennsylvania’s Cecil Township seeking to challenge changes made to the township’s oil and gas drilling ordinances. Last month, Cecil Township modified its ordinance to require that drillers first obtain approval from the township’s planning commission prior to fracking. Range Resources alleges that Cecil Township did not follow proper protocols, including public notice requirements, in passing the amended ordinances. Also earlier this year, Range Recourses filed a similar lawsuit against South Fayette Township, which is…

Continue Reading....

Preemption Argument Asserted In Second New York Lawsuit Challenging Local Ordinances Banning Fracking

A dairy farm located in the Town of Middlefield has commenced a lawsuit against Middlefield in the Supreme Court, Otsego County. The complaint alleges that Middlefield’s recently enacted zoning ordinances that prevent hydraulic fracking in Middlefield are preempted by §23-0303 of New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation Laws. The plaintiff, Cooperstown Holstein Corp., owns land that is subject to the zoning law and has entered into oil and gas leases with non-parties Elexo Land Services, Inc. and Covalent Energy Corporation. This preemption arguments asserted in…

Continue Reading....

State “Preemption” Arguments Asserted In New York Article 78 Proceeding

A recent legal challenge to a town’s local zoning ordinance banning hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) has been commenced in Tompkins County, New York. In Anshutz Exploration Corporation v. Town of Dryden (Supreme Court, Tompkins County), the petitioner Anshutz Exploration Corporation, a Denver-based energy company that owns numerous gas leases in the town of Dryden, commenced a New York Civil Practice Law and Rules Article 78 proceeding against the Town of Dryden. The petitioner argues, in sum, that Dryden’s zoning ordinances banning fracking within the town…

Continue Reading....