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Fracking and Alternative Energy

Babst Calland: Federal Judge Enjoins Hempfield Township, Pa., From Prohibiting Seismic Testing

By Nicholas J. Habursky

On April 10, 2014, a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction forcing Hempfield Township to permit ION Geophysical of Houston (ION) to perform seismic testing on the Township’s roads.  Hempfield Township argued that it does not specifically permit seismic testing and, that by restricting the seismic testing, it was protecting the rights of property owners who did not have an agreement with ION.  U.S. District Court Judge Maurice Cohill disagreed, finding that the Township was preempted by the Oil and Gas Act from prohibiting seismic testing and the Township’s refusal to negotiate an agreement with ION deprived ION of the ability to conduct seismic testing without the ability to appeal.  Judge Cohill ruled that the testing will not hurt the Township and that Hempfield would be likely to lose on the merits.

Copyright 2014 • Babst, Calland, Clements and Zomnir, P.C. • Two Gateway Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 • 412-394-5400 • Administrative Watch is privately distributed by Babst, Calland, Clements and Zomnir, P.C., for the general information of its clients, friends and readers. It is not designed to be, nor should it be considered or used as, the sole source of analyzing and resolving legal problems. If you have, or think you may have, a legal problem or issue relating to any of the matters discussed in the Administrative Watch, consult legal counsel.

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