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Range Resources—Appalachia, LLC v. Salem Township

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
964 A.2d 869 (Pa. 2009)


Salem Township (Salem) (defendant) enacted a municipal ordinance purporting to regulate many aspects of oil and gas drilling, including permitting procedures, bonding requirements, site restoration, and the capping of well heads. In particular, the ordinance contained very strict requirements for well permitting, among other aspects of the development process. Range Resources—Appalachia, LLC and other oil and gas producers (plaintiffs) brought suit, seeking to invalidate the ordinance based on the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act (Act). The Act stated that, with limited exception, “all local ordinances and enactments purporting to regulate oil and gas well operations regulated by this act are hereby superseded.” The trial court granted the plaintiffs summary judgment on this issue. The appellate court affirmed. Salem appealed, arguing, among other things, that the ordinance should not be preempted on a wholesale basis, but should be analyzed provision by provision.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Saylor, J.)

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