Seven communities, an environmental group and several individuals have sued Pennsylvania after the state reduced the control local governments have over drilling operations.
Last February, Pennsylvania approved Act 13 rules that transferred zoning powers over drilling from local government to the state.
A state appeals court ruled July 28 that the zoning authority belongs with the townships. That decision was upheld on Aug. 15 by Commonwealth Court President Judge Dan Pelligrini.
Those decisions have been appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
In New York, the state supreme court ruled that local governments are empowered to regulate fracking under their zoning and land use authority, despite a state law that suggests otherwise.
Local communities must approve drilling before energy companies can proceed.
To date, 35 New York communities have banned fracking and 100 more have imposed moratoriums. About 60 towns and villages are in favor of fracking.
Meanwhile, there is a statewide moratorium that may be lifted or modified soon.
— BOB DOWNING