Local Land Use

One of Act 13's most significant impacts has to do with local regulation of the industry. Prior to Act 13, the Oil and Gas Act (along with a few State Supreme Court cases) guided the development of local ordinances. However, as a result of the Act, the Oil and Gas Act has been repealed. Many of its provisions have been subsumed into Act 13. Nonetheless municipalities will still be limited in their abilities to regulate the industry with either zoning ordinances or flood plain management ordinances.

UPDATE: On July 26, 2012, Commonwealth Court declared Section 3304 Uniformity of Local Ordinances null and void. The Court's opinion can be found here.

Generally speaking, Act 13

  • Supersedes all local ordinances purporting to regulate oil and gas operations, except with respect to zoning ordinances
  • Preempts local ordinances from regulating matters in Chapter 32 of the State Code or any technical aspects of oil and gas operations
  • Preempts and prohibits local ordinances which purport to regulate the environmental aspects of oil and gas operations
  • Declares that all local ordinances must allow for the reasonable development of oil and gas resources
  • Remains consistent with the Oil and Gas Act, even though it has been repealed
Therefore, the regulatory framework remains much the same as it did before the Act.