Ohio City May Not Limit Drilling Within Its Borders
The Ohio Supreme Court held that a city may not restrict oil and gas drilling within its borders. The city sought to enforce five local ordinances limiting drilling within its borders after an energy company had already obtained the necessary state permits. The ordinances, however, conflict with state law.
Lawsuit Against Oil and Gas Companies for Coastal Erosion Dismissed
A district court dismissed a flood protection board's lawsuit against 88 oil and gas companies for damages stemming from coastal erosion along a "buffer zone" in southeast Louisiana. The companies do not owe a legal duty to the board, arising under either Louisiana law or the Rivers and Harbors Act, the CWA, or the CZMA, to protect the board from the results of coastal erosion allegedly caused by the companies' oil and gas activities in the buffer zone.
Scientific uncertainty is inevitable in many public policy debates, especially in the environmental and public health arena. The February 2015 issue of News & Analysis features two pieces on communicating scientific uncertainty from the scientific, legal, and journalistic perspectives. Also included in this month's issue is an article providing guidance on best practice principles for preparing for EAs under NEPA, as well as an article examining strategic lawsuits against public participation, or SLAPPs. The issue also looks at EPA's proposed existing source performance standards for electric generating units as well as the statutory defenses under CERCLA.