Taylorsville basin localities can control the impact of fracking

In early May 2015, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring issued an opinion asserting that localities have grounds to regulate or ban fracking altogether through zoning ordinances. This opinion hinges on the power that the General Assembly has already vested in cities, counties and towns to enact local land-use laws as they see fit, an important distinction in a Dillon Rule state where local governments’ laws cannot trump state statutes, and a reversal of a previous attorney general’s opinion.

Nowhere is Herring’s opinion receiving more attention than in counties across the Taylorsville basin, a 109-mile region east of Fredericksburg, as far south as Richmond and as far north as Clinton, Md., where the U.S. Geographic Survey estimates there are roughly 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and another 37 million barrels of liquid natural gas.


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