The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday denied two appeals challenging a lower court’s decision that reaffirmed the state Public Utility Commission’s regulatory authority. The high court’s ruling makes clear that PUC authority supersedes local zoning that a municipality tried to apply to the Mariner East 2 pipeline project.
One appeal relates to a decision handed down in February by Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, which ruled that West Goshen Township “lacked the authority to zone out a public utility service and facility” regulated by the PUC. In that case, the state judges upheld a Chester County judge’s denial of a petition by Mariner East 2 opponents who claimed that the pipeline project violated the township’s zoning ordinance and wanted construction blocked. The second appeal relates to the Commonwealth Court’s ruling in March against Middletown Township’s attempt to zone out a pipeline facility.
The Supreme Court case is the latest in a string of legal challenges that uphold lawful development of the Mariner East project, which was subject to dozens of public meetings and hearings and underwent a rigorous review before being permitted.
If you are writing about this latest ruling, please consider the following statement issued by the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance. Feel free to quote me, Kurt Knaus, as spokesman:
“The Supreme Court’s decision reaffirms the lawful development of Mariner East 2 and makes clear that this pipeline was sited and developed by the books. That’s why courts continue to uphold this project, which will provide countless positive benefits in terms of jobs, economic activity and access to vital energy resources.”