Critics of the law had argued that it would have compelled municipalities to allow hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, almost anywhere a company requested, without taking into account surroundings such as nearby schools, homes and waterways.
Industry advocates, however, contended that the law provided a uniform statewide zoning system that would have further bolstered Pennsylvania's fracking boom. The law carved out a niche for the oil and gas sector as the only industry in Pennsylvania exempt from local zoning ordinances.
The issue of who has control over fracking — localities or the state — is playing out almost everywhere that the technique is being used to produce natural gas, and some experts expect this decision to resonate beyond Pennsylvania.Ohio has a law with similar zoning provisions.
Pennsylvania has 30 days to decide whether to appeal.
Industry advocates suggested that the ruling could slow a fracking rush in the state.
Marcellus Shale Coalition President Kathryn Z. Klaber said: "Lack of uniformity has long been an Achilles' heel for Pennsylvania and must be resolved if the commonwealth is to remain a leader in responsible American natural gas development and reap the associated economic, environmental and national security benefits."