Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Crawford County in the case of Mitchell Energy Corporation v. The Zoning Hearing Board of Summerhill Township v. Leonard Kreider and John Beebe, No. A.D. 1984-851, and in the case of Mitchell Energy Corporation v. The Board of Supervisors of Summerhill Township v. Leonard Kreider and John Beebe, No. A.D. 1985-9.
Paul D. Shafer, Jr., with him, Louis J. Stack, Shafer, Dornhaffer, Swick, Bailey & Irwin, for appellant.
Richard W. Perhacs, Elderkin, Martin, Kelly, Messina & Zamboldi, for appellee, Zoning Board of Summerhill Township.
Joseph A. Yochim, Colussi, Yochim, Skiba & Moore, for appellees, Leonard Kreider and John Beebe.
David L. Hotchkiss, Culbertson, Weiss, Schetroma & Schug, for appellee, Board of Supervisors of Summerhill Township.
Judges MacPhail and Doyle, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.
[ 108 Pa. Commw. Page 115]
These consolidated appeals arise out of the attempts by Mitchell Energy Corporation (MEC) to place an injection well in Summerhill Township (Township), Pennsylvania. MEC is a corporation engaged in exploration, drilling and production of oil and natural gas. It operates seventy-nine oil and gas wells in the Township, on land it either owns or leases.
On May 11, 1984, MEC applied for a zoning permit to install an injection well in the Township. An injection well is one used to inject brine into the ground.*fn1 In this case the well would have been used to inject brine extracted from oil and gas wells operating in the area, with the injection of brine into the ground from this well taking place at depths ranging between 7,286 feet and 7,326 feet and between 7,764 feet and 7,848 feet. At the site of the injection well, there would also be a shed containing pumping equipment, two 42,000-gallon settling tanks and one 4,200-gallon skim oil tank, and a 7,500-gallon concrete pit, on 505 acres MEC owned in the Township. On May 12, 1984, the Township zoning officer denied the permit.
MEC appealed the denial to the Township Zoning Hearing Board (Board). MEC contended in front of the Board that the injection well was a permitted use in an
[ 108 Pa. Commw. Page 116]
R-1 district under Section 502.13 of the Township Zoning Ordinances.*fn2 ...