Appeals court: State can weigh impact of gas drilling wells

HARRISBURG (AP) — A Pennsylvania appeals court says state environmental regulators can continue weighing the effects gas drilling wells have on public and natural resources.

The court ruled Thursday in favor of the state Department of Environmental Protection and against the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association.

The industry group includes hundreds of members mainly involved in conventional drilling operations. The group had said the state Supreme Court threw out the public resource protection sections when it struck down other parts of an oil and gas law.

Commonwealth Court rejected the argument and says the high court allowed those powers to survive by inserting language separating the public resource protections from the enjoined parts of the law.

The association says it believes the court erred and will review its options.