Washington County's Robinson to withdraw from Act 13 lawsuit

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Newly seated supervisors in Robinson, Washington County, plan to withdraw the township from a joint suit against Act 13, the state law regulating Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling.

Township attorney Alan Shuckrow said Monday night that the lawsuit nonetheless would continue to carry Robinson’s name, and the case would move forward with the remaining plaintiffs.

“Whether or not the township [of Robinson] is officially a party or not, at this point, after the Supreme Court has ruled, I would characterize [the case withdrawal] as largely a ceremonial policy statement by the majority of the board,” Mr. Shuckrow said.

Immediately after taking office in January, supervisors' chairman Rodger Kendall, a drilling leaseholder, and vice chairman Stephen Duran voted to remove Robinson from the lawsuit. The third supervisor, Mark Brositz, voted no.

In December, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled major provisions of Act 13 unconstitutional, providing a win for local zoning control and plaintiffs that included the towns of Robinson, Peters, Mt. Pleasant and Cecil in Washington County and South Fayette in Allegheny County.

Mr. Shuckrow said remaining portions of the case will be sent back to Commonwealth Court, at which point Robinson may withdraw.

Andrea Iglar, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.

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