By Kim Glovas
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Environmental groups are cheering a decision yesterday by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court which struck down parts of the controversial Act 13, a law governing natural gas drilling, or “fracking,” in the state.
The group Penn Environment, based in center city Philadelphia, says the decision will give local government more power over where fracking can — and cannot — occur in their communities.
“The communities can decide where and how drilling should happen there, so they could include further setbacks from wells, drinking water sources, or from rivers and streams that flow through those municipalities, helping minimize the drinking water impacts from drilling,” says Adam Garber of Penn Environment.
Garber says the court’s decision told the legislature and Governor Tom Corbett that they overreached in allowing state control over natural gas drilling, potentially loosening environmental protections.
Garber says everything that environmentalists have seen about fracking shows there is no safe way to drill for natural gas. And, he adds, the gas drilling industry is even unwilling to follow the weak laws that are already on the books.