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JPZenger

(6,819 posts)
Wed Aug 28, 2013, 03:26 PM Aug 2013

Federal Judge Halts Attempt to Frack Land that Was Protected by Permanent Conservation Easement

A permanent conservation easement is often placed on a property by a property-owner to make sure that a property can never be developed or subdivided. It is often done in return for payment from a county or a conservation organization or a federal tax deduction. In northeast PA. there was an attempt to get around this permanent restriction in order to allow fracking.

Excerpt:

"... in Stockport Mountain v. Norcross Wildlife Foundation, U.S. District Judge James M. Munley of the Middle District of Pennsylvania granted defendant Norcross Wildlife Foundation’s motion for summary judgment, finding that the conservation easement on the land it co-owned with plaintiff Stockport Mountain Corp. unambiguously bans drilling.

Munley said Section 4(c) of the easement, prohibiting “‘industrial or commercial uses of any kind,’” clearly precludes drilling.

Munley rejected Stockport’s argument that the parties could not have intended to ban shale gas production because they didn’t even consider it as a possibility when they executed the easement in 2002."

Read more:

http://www.law.com/jsp/pa/PubArticlePA.jsp?id=1202617155709&kw=Judge%20Rules%20Conservation%20Easement%20Bans%20Drilling&et=editorial&bu=The%20Legal%20Intelligencer&cn=20130827&src=EMC-Email&pt=PM%20Legal%20Alert&slreturn=20130728151910#ixzz2dIF2s7yO

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Federal Judge Halts Attempt to Frack Land that Was Protected by Permanent Conservation Easement (Original Post) JPZenger Aug 2013 OP
GOOD decision! elleng Aug 2013 #1
"Munley rejected Stockport’s argument Ednahilda Aug 2013 #2
Some good news in the sea of frack fluid... Champion Jack Aug 2013 #3
I think it's even more clear than just "industrial or commercial users of any kind" dballance Aug 2013 #4
There is a continuing legal fight over whether fracking involves a "mineral" JPZenger Aug 2013 #5

elleng

(133,362 posts)
1. GOOD decision!
Wed Aug 28, 2013, 03:33 PM
Aug 2013

'they didn’t even consider it as a possibility when they executed the easement in 2002,' but if they HAD, they would have executed the easement IN SPADES!!!

Ednahilda

(195 posts)
2. "Munley rejected Stockport’s argument
Wed Aug 28, 2013, 03:52 PM
Aug 2013

that the parties could not have intended to ban shale gas production because they didn’t even consider it as a possibility when they executed the easement in 2002."

I'm no lawyer, but I'm assuming that's why the prohibition on 'industrial or commercial uses of any kind' as written in the easement is so broad - so that it protects against harmful technologies yet unknown.

I'm sure the frackers will keep trying. It's not as if they don't have enough money to keep the fight going.

 

dballance

(5,756 posts)
4. I think it's even more clear than just "industrial or commercial users of any kind"
Wed Aug 28, 2013, 04:07 PM
Aug 2013

Read the article and PDF from here (no registration required): http://preservationlawdigest.com/2012/03/08/stockport-mountain-corporation-llc-v-norcross-wildlife-foundation/

Not only does the easement say no "industrial or commercial uses of any kind," in the paragraph right after that in Section 4) Prohibited Uses it clearly states "d) Commercial mining and/or quarrying of any kind." Isn't fracking "mining" of a sort?

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