Commonwealth Court Defines Stripper Wells

By:  Michael K. Reer

On March 29, 2017, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania issued a decision interpreting Act 13’s impact fee provisions.  Pennsylvania’s Act 13 requires certain unconventional wells to pay impact fees during the first several years of operation.  “Stripper wells” – defined by Act 13 as an “unconventional gas well incapable of producing more than 90,000 cubic feet of gas per day during any calendar month” are exempt from the impact fee.  The Commonwealth Court determined that Act 13 uses the word “any” to mean “every” and therefore held that an unconventional well is not subject to the impact fee if the well is not capable of producing more than 90,000 cubic feet of gas per day in every calendar month.  The case is Snyder Brothers, Inc. v. Pa. Public Utility Comm’n, No. 1043 C.D. 2015. 

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Pennsylvania's Act 13 Odyssey

by:  Michael K. Reer

On December 13, 2016, Law 360 published "Pennsylvania's Act 13 Odyssey,"  a Harris, Finley & Bogle article examining legal challenges to Pennsylvania's Act 13 of 2012 and the subsequent Chapter 78a regulations.  A copy of the article is available here.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

PADEP Appeals Chapter 78a Injunction to Pa. Supreme Court

On December 6, 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection requested that the state’s Supreme Court overturn a Commonwealth Court Order enjoining parts of Chapter 78a. Chapter 78a contains the Commonwealth’s new environmental performance standards for unconventional oil and natural gas development. On November 8, 2016, the Commonwealth Court temporarily enjoined key provisions of Chapter 78a, including provisions relating to public resource agencies, area of review and well monitoring, well development impoundments, and well site restoration. The Chapter 78a regulations were published as final in the October 8, 2016 Pennsylvania Bulletin and challenged in Commonwealth Court on October 13, 2016 by the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a trade association based in Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

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