September 15 webinar to examine legal issues related to Marcellus gas activity

Date: September 11, 2011
A synopsis of legal developments, legislation, and municipal regulations.

A web-based seminar presented Sept. 15 by Penn State Extension will examine legal issues associated with natural-gas development in the Marcellus Shale formation underlying Pennsylvania.

There have been more than 2,350 wells drilled into the Marcellus in the Keystone State in the last few years, primarily in the southwest, northeast and northcentral regions. Those wells and large well pads, the gas they produce and construction of related infrastructure, such as pipelines and transfer stations, have created legal dilemmas for residents and municipalities.

In the webinar, which will start at 1 p.m. and run for more than an hour, presenter Ross Pifer, clinical professor of law and director of the Agricultural Law Resource & Reference Center at Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law, will talk about legal developments, encompassing statutes, regulations and court opinions at the state and federal level.

“I will review the various Marcellus Shale legal developments that have occurred over the past several months as well as those that are ongoing,” he said.”I will discuss the legislation that has been enacted by the Pennsylvania General Assembly and also cover some of the other topics that are being considered by the General Assembly and U.S. Congress.

Pifer also intends to discuss regulations and other ongoing administrative proceedings from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, Delaware River Basin Commission, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and the state Department of Environmental Protection.

As Marcellus activities occur throughout much of the commonwealth, the legal developments related to Marcellus Shale continue to increase, Pifer noted.  “I will cover the issue of municipal regulation of natural-gas operations and I will address highlights from court opinions that have been issued by state and federal courts in Pennsylvania.

“The goal of this webinar is to highlight the numerous legal developments to provide the participants with an overview of the legal landscape surrounding Marcellus Shale.”

The webinar is part of a series of online workshops addressing opportunities and challenges related to the state’s Marcellus Shale gas boom. Information about how to register for the session is available on the webinar page of Penn State Extension’s natural-gas website at

Previous webinars, publications and information on topics such as air pollution from gas development; the gas boom’s effect on landfills; water use and quality; zoning; gas-leasing considerations for landowners; implications for local communities; and gas pipelines and right-of-way issues also are available on the Penn State Extension natural-gas website (

For more information about the webinar, contact John Turack, extension educator in Westmoreland County, at (724) 837-1402 or by e-mail at

Jeff Mulhollem
(814) 863-2719




Joe Price
Attorney Joe Price is a seasoned Trial Lawyer serving Northeast, Central and Southeast Pennsylvania for the past forty (40) years. He has handled serious personal injury cases in courts throughout the Federal system including New Jersey and New York. Attorney Price is A.V. Rated by Martindale Hubble. He is Board Certified in Civil Practice by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 1996.