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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bowling Green Passes Fracking Ban

From the Toledo Blade:
By a 7-0 vote, the Bowling Green City Council on Monday night approved an ordinance that bans fracking and disposal of fracking waste fluids in the city limits.
Now the question becomes how strong the action would be if it is ever challenged in court.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources claims it maintains legal authority to issue all drilling permits throughout the state, even in cities that pass ordinances to ban the activity.
But Bowling Green City Attorney Michael Marsh, in a Sept. 4 letter to council members, said he wrote the ordinance to be a part of the city’s criminal code, not its zoning code.
“It is an exercise of our police powers,” Mr. Marsh wrote. “The same tack was taken by us several years ago when we were the first city in Ohio to regulate cigarette and cigar smoking in certain facilities. Smoking at that time was also a ‘legal’ activity and was heavily regulated by the state of Ohio. Our ordinance was challenged, and it was upheld, as a reasonable exercise of our police power, and since it did not conflict with the state criminal code, there was no pre-emption argument to overcome."
Read the whole article here.

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