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Litigation Success

Displaying 36 Litigation Success Cases

Delaware Riverkeeper Network and the Delaware Riverkeeper challenged Delaware River Basin Commission's (DRBC) decision-making process, alleging that DRBC failed to comply with both the procedural and substantive regulatory requirements of the DRBC Water Code and Rules of Procedure and Practice when it did not require Stone Energy to include certain mandatory data and information in its water withdrawal application intended to support future shale gas drilling and fracking. As a result the Delaware Riverkeeper Network alleges that the DRBC did not satisfy its duty to ensure that strict anti-degradation water quality standards applicable to the West Branch of the Lackawaxen would be met.

On March 31, 2011, Tennessee Gas Pipeline L.L.C. submitted its certificate application for the Northeast Upgrade Project to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The Project was one of a series four interconnected pipeline projects Tennessee launched in a three year span to add a new 30-inch diameter pipeline beside its existing 300 Line natural gas pipeline.

Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company’s Northeast Upgrade Project (NEUP) is an interstate transmission line upgrade project. The NEUP is the final pipeline upgrade project in TGP’s multi-stage 300 Line upgrade project, although TGP has tried to disguise the interdependence of its 300 Line upgrade project components to avoid critical environmental regulation and oversight. Three of the loops that are part of the Northeast Upgrade Project are located within the Delaware River Basin (Loops 321, 323, and 325), spanning Wayne and Pike Counties in Pennsylvania and Sussex County in New Jersey.

Delaware Riverkeeper Network challenged Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (PADEP) denial of a Right to Know Law request filed by the organization for access to PADEP’s study of technologically enhanced radioactive material (TENORM) produced by oil and gas extraction.  We appealed the denial to the Office of Open Records, arguing that the records are purely factual not deliberative, and not part of an inquiry or official probe, simply part of an agency study.

The  Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Maya van Rossum in her capacity as the Delaware Riverkeeper, Dr. Mehernosh Khan, and seven municipalities filed suit on March 29, 2012 challenging Governor Corbett's pro-drilling law known as Act 13 on the grounds it violates the Pennsylvania and United States Constitutions and endangers public health, natural resources, communities and the environment.

Oral argument was held before the PA supreme court on October 17, 2012.

From 1993 to 1996 the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, with the American Littoral Society and Delaware Sierra Club, represented by the Widener Environmental Law Clinic, pursued legal actions against the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to ensure compliance in the watershed states of Pennsylvania and Delaware with section 303 of the Clean Water Act.

Gas Driller Withdraws Application for Well Spacing On May 2, 2014, landowners in Western Pennsylvania opposed an application by Hilcorp Energy Company for well spacing units (and eventual forced pooling) for natural gas drilling and sought a declaration that the law under which Hilcorp sought forced pooling, The Oil and Gas Conservation Law, is unconstitutional. The Delaware Riverkeeper, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and Mountain Watershed Association filed a friend of the court brief in support of the landowners on July 30, 2014. This law has not yet been used to allow forced pooling in horizontal hydrofracked wells. A hearing on the case was set for September 24, 2014 in the Commonwealth Court. On August 29, 2014, Hilcorp withdrew its application and is no longer seeking well spacing units.

DRN, et al. v. Garden State Growers: DRN prepared and served a 30 day notice letter under the New Jersey Environmental Rights Act against a factory farming establishment for violations of the New Jersey Fresh Water Wetlands statutes and regulations.

The Department of Environment Protection cancelled a needed permit for a proposed Marcellus Shale drilling site in the Lake Arthur Watershed. In response to a legal challenge brought by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and residents of Franklin Township, Butler County, XTO Energy has withdrawn its application for an Erosion & Sediment permit and DEP has cancelled the permit approval given for a Marcellus well drilling site located approximately one mile from the boundaries of Moraine State Park, and that would drain, in part, into waters designated by law as high quality.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani granted the Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s motion to intervene in a legal action filed by the Wayne Land and Mineral Group (WLMG) against the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC). The intervention seeks to overturn the moratorium against shale gas extraction in the Delaware River Watershed. The case was filed on May 17, 2016, in the U.S.

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