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Monitoring Property & the Built Environment

Yaw et al. v. Delaware River Basin Committee

Overview

Yaw et al. v. Delaware River Basin Committee (U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Cir., Sept. 16, 2022): The Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that a collection of Republican state senators, the Republican Caucus of the state senate, and several cities and counties in Pennsylvania do not have standing to challenge a fracking ban in the Delaware River Basin, due to lack of injury. The Delaware River Basin Committee, which has oversight of a watershed covering over 13,500 square miles spanning four states including Pennsylvania, banned fracking in 2021. The senators challenged the ban, alleging it impeded the state legislature’s ability to govern fracking. The Third Circuit held that only the entire state legislature could bring such a claim, not representatives of only one party of one chamber. The Pennsylvania cities and counties claimed that the ban would prevent them from profiting from fracking activities in their jurisdictions, but because the municipalities showed no evidence of plans to engage in fracking in the near future, these economic losses were only hypothetical and could not provide standing. Read the full decision here.


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