3rd Circ. Halts ‘Sea Change,’ OKs Drilling In Nat'l Forest
By Matthew Villmer
Law360, New York (September 26, 2013, 6:04 PM ET) -- The Third Circuit paved the way for additional oil and gas exploration in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest, by affirming on Thursday a lower court's ruling in favor of oil companies, which invalidated a settlement agreement between environmental groups and the U.S. Forest Service.
In its opinion, the appellate court agreed with a Pennsylvania district court’s 2012 ruling that the USFS did not have the authority to require environmental impact studies in the forest before allowing mineral exploration.
The Third Circuit referenced its previous opinion in 2011,...