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Brockway Borough Municipal Authority v. Department of Environmental Protection

ELR Citation: 46 ELR 20015
Nos. 789 C.D. 2015, (Pa. Commw. Ct., 01/06/2016)

A Pennsylvania court upheld an environmental hearing board order dismissing a municipal authority's challenge to a gas drilling permit that the Department of Environmental Protection issued to an oil and gas exploration company. The authority argued that the permitted drilling will result in violations of the Clean Streams Law and the Oil and Gas Act. The authority also argued that the municipality's natural resources will be injured in violation of Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution—the commonwealth's environmental rights amendment. But the board's factual findings are supported by substantial evidence, including the testimony of six expert witnesses who rebutted the authority's single expert. Likewise, the board's legal conclusions on the Clean Streams Law, the Oil and Gas Act, and the environmental rights amendment are all fully consonant with the record evidence.