Gas Company Sues Cecil Township

MarkWest Liberty Midstream & Resources LLC claims financial damages by not being able to build a natural-gas compression station.

Claiming irreparable financial damage, MarkWest Liberty Midstream & Resources LLC is suing Cecil Township.

The company late last week also petitioned Commonwealth Court for a preliminary injunction to pave the way for the construction of a natural-gas compression station on property off Coleman Road near Route 980.

MarkWest’s action came after township officials sent the company a letter, dated June 15, denying a second application by the company to use the property for the facility.

An application for a special exception was turned down in 2011, with the township zoning hearing board citing potential impact on neighboring properties and disagreeing with MarkWest’s claim of providing an “essential service.” Washington County Court of Common Pleas is hearing the company’s appeal of that decision.

In its Commonwealth Court filings, MarkWest contends it should be permitted to build the compressor station because it meets requirements set forth in Act 13, which governs oil and gas drilling in Pennsylvania, regarding distance from existing buildings and property lines, and anticipated noise levels.

Cecil is among the municipalities that are mounting a legal challenge against Act 13.

MarkWest also claims that the township’s unified development ordinance violates the act by not permitting compressor stations in industrial zones.

Unless the company is granted relief, MarkWest stands to suffer “irreparable harm due to unrecoverable economic loss,” according to the application for preliminary injunction.

Colorado-based MarkWest transports, compresses and processes oil, gases and other substances extracted from oil and gas wells. Compressors aid the transportation of natural gas by compressing the substance.

Cecil is joined in its Act 13 challenge by seven municipalities—including Peters, Mt. Pleasant and Robinson townships in Washington County and South Fayette in Allegheny County—and several individuals.


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