Landowners file lawsuit in forced pooling case - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Landowners file lawsuit in forced pooling case

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PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Three property owners filed a lawsuit Friday to prevent Hilcorp Energy from accessing part of a pool of oil and gas they sit atop in Lawrence and Mercer Counties.

Omar Abuhejleh, the Pulaski landowners' attorney, said that the Oil and Gas Conservation law requires them to relinquish their property rights even when they don't want drilling on their land due to water concerns.

The group of landowners- Martin and Suzanne Matteo, Robert and Carole Valentine, and Steve Emery- argue that the more than 50 year old statute was designed for vertical drilling not horizontal drilling.

They also claim that it is an unconstitutional form of eminent domain by a private company.

Abuhejleh said that he filed the lawsuit Friday in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania on behalf of the landowners against Hilcorp, the state attorney general, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the secretary of the DEP.
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