Pennsylvania township must revise drilling rules

PITTSBURGH -- The state Public Utility Commission says a western Pennsylvania township must revise its oil and gas land-use rules by Nov. 28 or face losing money from a new drilling impact fee.

The ruling on South Fayette Township, just outside Pittsburgh, was issued Thursday and is the commission's first official ruling on local ordinances.

A new law regulating gas drilling gave the commission the job of determining whether local rules conflict with the state-wide law and of distributing fees collected from drillers. Several municipalities, including South Fayette, are challenging the commission's authority to make those rulings, and portions of the entire law are being reviewed by the state Supreme Court.

South Fayette officials say protecting the health and safety of residents is their top priority, not the $2,700 in fees.