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Pennsylvania Oil Lawsuit Challenges Local Law

August 11th, 2014

A Pennsylvania oil lawsuit filed by an oil drilling company seeks to overturn a local law that prohibits the disposal of oil and gas waste products. Pennsylvania General Energy Company filed the suit in District Court seeking to challenge the Grant Township ordinance that bans the disposal of petroleum and natural gas waste products within its borders. The Pennsylvania oil lawsuit seeks to have the township law declared un-Constitutional and a violation of the corporation’s civil rights.

Fracking Well Spurs Pennsylvania Oil Lawsuit

The Pennsylvania oil lawsuit stems from the company’s proposal to use a deep gas well on a farm in Grant Township. The company wants to convert the old well into an injection well for its hydraulic fracturing operations. Hydraulic fracturing, better known as “fracking”, involves the injection of fluids into subterranean rock layers to obtain oil and gas deposits that are not accessible through standard drilling methods. The Pennsylvania oil lawsuit cites that the company would use “fluids from its other oil and gas development operations”, which is prohibited under the Grant Township ordinance.

Pennsylvania Oil Lawsuit Contests “Community Bill of Rights”

The Grant Township “Community Bill of Rights” states that corporations may not “deposit…waste from oil and gas extraction” within the city limits. The law also declares that companies that dispose of such waste must compensate the community for “the cost of restoring the ecosystem…to its state before the injury” and that such companies “shall not be deemed to be ‘persons”, nor possess any other legal rights”. The Pennsylvania oil lawsuit also claims that the law threatens to render any state or federal permits that allow such disposal actions null and void.

Pennsylvania Oil Lawsuit and Constitutional Issues

The Pennsylvania oil lawsuit seeks to have the law overturned on Constitutional grounds. The company claims that the law violates the company’s rights to due process, equal protection and petitioning the government for redress of grievances. The suit also claims that the law contradicts many Pennsylvania state laws and that Grant Township has overstepped its bounds according to the state’s Second Class Township Code.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Know Your Rights in a Pennsylvania Oil Lawsuit

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