BREAKING NEWS: Industry Land Grab Unconstitutional!!

ACTION ALERT!!!

 
GREAT NEWS!!!  
The Pennslyvania Commwealth Court today threw out the local zoning pre-emptions contained in Act 13.
This is GREAT NEWS for supporters of the Coalition for a Healthy County, because it means that Commissioner Ruddock’s moritorium on drilling in the conservation zones can now be made permanent.
CALL Commissioner Ruddock TODAY
Tell him it’s time to finish his work in balancing environmental impacts with economic benefit of the Marcellus Shale Boom.  Ask him to make his moratorium on drilling in conservation zones permanent. 
Ruling “UNTIES” County’s Hands
CHC supporters (that’s you:) remember that last summer, our coalition offered an amendment to the county ordinance which regulates the special conservation zones surrounding Yellow Creek State Park, Blue Spruce County Park, Pine Ridge County Park, and Hemlock Lake County Park.  Our amendment would have maintained the integrity of these natural areas by prohibiting gas drilling. This amendment was written by our state’s top environmental lawyers at Penn Future, and received the support of over 400 county residents. It would affect a mere four percent of the county’s land area.
Unfortunately, last spring, our local electeds, including Rep. Reed, Rep. Smith, Rep Pyle, and Sen. White (who all happen to rank just behind Gov. Corporate as the top recipients of gas and oil campaign money), rammed through legislation, Act 13, which would have allow Marcellus drilling in all zones in the state, including residential, and our conservation zones.
According to Indiana County Director of Economic Development and Planning, Byron Stauffer, this legislation “tied one, maybe two hands” behind the backs of our county planners in protecting Yellow Creek State Park, a clear county asset.  At that time, Planning Commission Chairman Ed Nehrig said “if that power [local zoning] is taken away from the local municipalities, there is really nothing we can do about it.”
Turns out Ed was wrong. These preemptive provisions, which over-ruled local government control, were so onerous that a group of townships and individuals challenged them as unconstitutional. CHC supported that challenge, and today, WE WON!!
This ruling unties the county’s hands and opens the way to provide our natural areas the protection intended by these zones set up in 1973.
Commissioners Need Support against Industry $$($$$$$$$)
No doubt Commissioner Ruddock has received pressure from the industry not to make his moratorium permanent – one driller had plans of up to 40 wells surrounding Yellow Creek Lake.  No doubt the industry’s thirst for gas is unquenchable, which is why they spent over $23 million lobbying for Act 13, which has been described by environmental advocates as an industry land grab.
As many of you know, CHC doesn’t have pockets nearly that deep – our power comes from our collective voices, and our Commissioners need our support!
CALL Commissioner Ruddock TODAY
Tell him it’s time to finish his work in balancing environmental impacts with economic benefit of the Marcellus Shale Boom. Protecting our county’s natural assets makes economic sense.  Ask him to make his moratorium on drilling in conservation zones permanent.
YOUR VOICE MATTERS!
This good news comes quickly on the heels of other good news for CHC, which was the reclamation of the Yellow Creek Well. While we only have Mother Nature to thank for the fault out there, there is no doubt that YOUR VOICES compelled our commissioners to form the Indiana County Natural Gas Task Force, and YOUR VOICES compelled our commissioners to institute a voluntary moratorium on drilling, a partial ban. It’s time to make that ban permanent.
CALL Commissioner Ruddock TODAY
Tell him it’s time to finish his work in balancing environmental impacts with economic benefit of the Marcellus Shale Boom. Protecting our county’s natural assets makes economic sense.  Ask him to make his moratorium on drilling in conservation zones permanent.
 

Campaign Update Conference Call TONIGHT, 8pm

A number of folks will be in the Yellow Creek Conservation Zone to celebrate CHC’s big victories tonight. Please join us for the campaign update and strategy discussion,
TONIGHT, Thursday 7/26 @ 8pm
Call-in #: 610-214-0200
Access code: 647003
 


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Read all about the history of the Coalition for a Healthy County on our website:
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