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PA Supreme Court Opinion on Act 13 (issued 12/19/2013)

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down a portion of Act 13, the controversial 2012 update of the state's oil and gas law, finding that the law violated Article I Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution (the Environmental Rights Amendment). The majority opinion states: "To describe this case simply as a zoning or agency discretion matter would not capture the essence of the parties’ fundamental dispute regarding Act 13. Rather, at its core, this dispute centers upon an asserted vindication of citizens’ rights to quality of life on their properties and in their hometowns, insofar as Act 13 threatens degradation of air and water, and of natural, scenic, and esthetic values of the environment, with attendant effects on health, safety, and the owners’ continued enjoyment of their private property."