This article discusses the federal appeals court overturning a lower court’s ruling, paving the way for a group of northeast Pennsylvania landowners to challenge the Delaware River Basin Commission‘s authority to regulate gas drilling in that region.
The case now hinges on the definition of “project” spelled out in the commission’s governing document, known as the Delaware River Basin Compact.
The Wayne Land and Mineral Group owns about 75 acres that include shale gas deposits but that are within an area regulated by the commission. The DRBC, a multi-state body that oversees water use and water quality in the Delaware watershed, has imposed a de facto moratorium on gas drilling since 2009. The group sued the commission, arguing it does not have the authority to prohibit its plans to drill for gas on its properties.