January 01, 2020

Municipalities Feel the Chill of Knick in the Air

Abigail M. Jones

The U.S. Supreme Court recently split over whether a takings challenge to a local zoning ordinance can proceed directly to federal court in Knick v. Township of Scott, 139 S. Ct. 2162 (2019). Short answer: they can, now. This has the potential to open the floodgates of federal litigation over local limitations or bans on high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking) technology for extracting oil and natural gas across the country. The resulting chill that could settle over municipalities may stymie local protection of our communities and environment from the dangers of fracking.

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