Highland Township, a tiny Elk County town that in 2013 approved an ordinance banning natural-gas wastewater injection wells, overturned the ordinance this week and promptly settled a federal lawsuit with a Marcellus Shale gas producer that wants to build a disposal well in the community.
Two new supervisors on the township's three-member governing board voted Wednesday to rescind the ordinance, saying they were unlikely to prevail in a lawsuit with gas producer Seneca Resources Corp. The supervisors then entered into a consent decree with Seneca, which U.S. Magistrate Susan Paradise Baxter approved on Thursday.
A Seneca spokesman told the Courier Express in DuBois, Pa., that the company would reapply for a drilling permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, which suspended its review last year because of the lawsuit. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which licenses injection wells in Pennsylvania, has already approved the facility.