Buffalo Environmental Law Journal

First Page


Document Type



In Copyright


This article examines the scope of Pennsylvania is preemption of municipal authority to zone natural gas drilling activities in light of two relatively recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decisions interpreting the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act and its local ordinance preemption provision. Although these cases define outer boundaries of permissible municipal regulation along the spectrum uf/possible zoning controls - i.e. what types ofordinance provisions would be either definitively permitted or preempted - substantial questions remain as to what extent a municipality may use traditional zoning power to zone gas drilling activities. This paper explores those grey areas, and attempts to assess the preemption risk of various types ofzoning controls.