Shaun A. Goho, Municipalities and Hydraulic Fracturing: Trends in State Preemption, Planning & Envtl. L., July 2012, at 3.
Abstract: Hydraulic fracturing is a technology used to extract natural gas from shale rock formations found deep beneath the earth. It raises many public health and environmental issues of concern to municipalities and planners, both urban and rural. These issues range from potential water contamination and air pollution to noise, dust, truck traffic, and even minor earthquakes. This article identifies regulatory options that municipalities and planners may consider if hydraulic fracturing is a possibility in their community. The options range from outright bans to regulating "where" and "how" hydraulic fracturing may be carried out in the community. Such municipal regulations frequently provoke opposition from gas developers, some landowners, and state legislatures that want to promote energy development. To provide examples of how such conflicts play out in practice, this article will also highlight the responses of courts and legislatures to municipal regulations in six states.