Westlaw News

Fracking-ban challenge gets second chance from 3rd Circuit

A federal appeals court on Tuesday revived a Pennsylvania landowner’s challenge to a four-state ban on new hydraulic fracturing wells, saying it was not clear whether fracking is a water-utilization project that can be regulated by the Delaware River Basin Commission.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the term “project,” as used in the 1961 Delaware River Basin Compact between Delaware, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, was ambiguous. It remanded the case brought by the prospective fracker, Wayne Land and Minerals Group, for further fact-finding on the intent of those who drafted the multistate agreement.

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