Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Ohio Court Of Common Pleas Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging State Preemption of Local Regulation

On July 1, 2015, the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas dismissed a suit against the state of Ohio and Governor John Kasich, concerning preemption of local drilling regulations. A copy of the judge’s order is available by searching for docket no. CV-14-836899 on the Cuyahoga County Clerk of Courts website.

On December 4, 2014, an Ohio non-profit corporation, Mothers against Drilling in Our Neighborhood sued the state of Ohio seeking to prevent hydraulic fracturing operations in the City of Broadview Heights. The corporation claimed that the state law allowing well stimulation violated residents’ constitutional rights to local self-governance based on the local Community Bill of Rights Charter Amendment Art. XV, Section (i). Art XV of the Community Bill of Rights, which was approved by Broadview Heights voters in 2012, prohibits shale gas extraction using hydraulic fracturing.

This lawsuit came after two drilling companies, Bass Energy Inc. and Ohio Valley Energy, filed an action against Broadview Heights over its prohibition on the use of hydraulic fracturing for unconventional wells drilling. Both companies alleged that Art. XV, banning hydraulic fracturing, is “unenforceable and preempted because it directly conflicts with [state law]” which gives exclusive authority to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to regulate oil and gas activities. Information on this case can be find at docket no. CV-14-828074.

Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow

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