Earlier this year, a number of Democratic Pennsylvania State Senators and Bucks and Montgomery counties (“counties”), represented by our Environmental Practice Group, filed successful motions to intervene in Yaw v. Delaware River Basin Commission. The suit, brought by several Republican State Senators, the State Senate Republican Caucus, and four municipalities sought to overturn the Delaware River Basin Commission’s (“DRBC”) ban on fracking. The Plaintiffs claimed that the DRBC does not have the authority to enact the ban, and that the ban constitutes a taking under the US Constitution. The Republican Senators further claimed that the DRBC’s action to ban fracking usurps their legislative authority.

On April 16, the Pennsylvania Democratic senators and the counties filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that the Plaintiffs did not have standing to sue and that their claims were fatally flawed.

On June 11, a federal judge agreed and threw out the lawsuit. Judge Paul Diamond in Philadelphia ruled the Plaintiffs failed to establish standing, writing the dispute “is primarily partisan and is best resolved through the political process.” The Republican senators’ claims were dismissed with prejudice, while the municipal plaintiffs were given until July 1 to refile the suit, if they choose to do so.

Environmental Practice Group members Steve Miano, Rob Wiygul, and Pete Keays represented the Democratic senators and Bucks and Montgomery Counties in this matter.

Read the opinion.