Saturday, August 13, 2011

Circuit Court Judge Invalidates Morgantown's Ban On Natural Gas Drilling, Hydraulic Fracturing

A Monongalia Circuit Court Judge has issued a ruling that invalidates Morgantown's new ordinance that would have banned natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing. The judge ruled that regulation of natural gas development and drilling lies soley with the state Department of Environmental Protection, not with a city such as Morgantown.

"Based upon this analysis, this Court concludes that the State's interest in oil and gas development and production throughout the State as set forth in the W,VA. CODE § 22-6. et seq.(1994)., provides for the exclusive control of this area of law to be within the hands of the WVDEP. These regulations do not provide any exception or latitude to permit the City of Morgantown to impose a complete ban on frackinng or to regulate oil and gas development and production."

Click to read the order.