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Ohio Utica Shale

Seven Pennsylvania municipalities file lawsuit

By Bob Downing Published: March 30, 2012

Seven municipalities in two western Pennsylvania counties are suing the state and several state agencies in the first challenge to new oil and gas laws, according to a filing today in Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg.

South Fayette, Peters, Cecil, Mt. Pleasant and Robinson, Washington County, are joined by two municipalities from Bucks County in challenging the state's new restrictions on local land-use laws for drilling, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The municipalities — mostly growing suburbs — want to retain their rights to say where drilling can happen in their towns and under what circumstances, powers affirmed by the courts before state lawmakers voted in February to restrict those powers.

State lawmakers do not have the right to supersede the state's Municipal Planning Code, the state constitution's tool for authorizing local property rules, they claim in the suit. Several legal experts have been skeptical of that claim and the chance the suit has at overturning the new laws.



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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.