Washington Gas Light Co. v. Prince George's County Council, No. 12-1443 (4th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
This case stemmed from Washington Gas' request to expand a natural gas substation (County Zoning Plans). On appeal, Washington Gas challenged the district court's order dismissing Washington Gas' mandatory referral claim and the district court's subsequent order granting summary judgment on Washington Gas' federal preemption claims. The court concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the mandatory referral claim pursuant to Burford v. Sun Oil; the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act (PSA), 49 U.S.C. 60102, 60104, did not preempt the County Zoning Plans because the PSA only preempted safety regulations and the County Zoning Plans were not safety regulations; and the Natural Gas Act (NGA), 15 U.S.C. 717, did not preempt the County Zoning Plans because Washington Gas was a local distributor of natural gas and, therefore, was not subject to the NGA. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's judgment.