PennEnergy obtains dismissal of constitutional and substantive validity challenges in oil and gas zoning dispute
Client(s) PennEnergy Resources LLC
Jones Day represented PennEnergy Resources, LLC ("PennEnergy") before a township zoning hearing board against a challenge by a township resident seeking to ban oil and gas activities in agricultural areas of the township on constitutional grounds in the wake of the December 2013 Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth. PennEnergy, a lessee of numerous oil and gas estates in the township, had entered into a gas gathering agreement with another company that planned to develop a natural gas compressor facility on agricultural land in the township, pursuant to the township's zoning ordinances. The challenge by the resident asserted that the township violated the principles of Robinson Township in passing a zoning ordinance that allowed for oil and gas development on agricultural land, and included claims under the Environmental Rights Amendment, the Due Process Clause, and the Municipalities Planning Code. The resident dropped his challenge at the conclusion of the first day of the scheduled two-day hearing following cross-examination led by Jones Day.
In re Substantive Challenge of New Sewickley Township Ordinance No. 162 and No. 194 by Kretschmann Farm, LLC, et al. (Zoning Hearing Board, New Sewickley Twp., Beaver Cty, Pa.)