Pa.’s highest court strikes down Act 13, cites right to clean air, pure water

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has issued a key decision this afternoon, striking down portions of Act 13, the 2012 law that imposed an impact fee on gas drillers.

    The law also placed restrictions on local municipalities’ abilities to zone oil and gas activities– the Court found this part of the law unconstitutional.

    In the majority opinion, the justices cited the Article 1 Section 27 of the Pennsylvania State Constitution, which guarantees the “right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. “

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    “When government acts, the actions must on balance reasonably account for the environment of the affected locale,” they write in the majority opinion.

    StateImpact Pennsylvania is analyzing the opinions and will have more updates to follow.

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