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Commonwealth Court Judge Puts Hold On Some Sections Of DEP Shale Drilling Regulations

Late Tuesday a Commonwealth Court judge put a temporary stay on several provisions of new rules for Marcellus Shale drilling operations until the court can consider the merits of an industry group’s challenge to the month-old regulations.

Commonwealth Court Judge P. Kevin Brobson sided with the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a North Fayette-based trade organization, and stopped implementation of narrow sections of the rules related to public resource protections, large fluid holding ponds, well site restoration standards and monitoring for underground hazards around fracking operations.

He found that some aspects of the rules might exceed regulators’ authority to impose them and that the costs of complying with those provisions now would cause the industry irreparable harm if the sections are later found to be invalid.

He said pausing enforcement of those provisions “will not adversely affect the public interest.”


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