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Approaches to Local Regulation of Shale Gas Development

Tushar Kansal and Patrick Field

February 2014, English

Residents of the towns and cities where shale gas development has been occurring are dealing with a whole host of challenges and risks felt at the local level. This paper explores some of the regulatory responses that local communities have taken in order to try to mitigate these risks and challenges. Municipalities and counties have taken a variety of regulatory approaches, which can be categorized as follows: enacting bans and moratoria, implementing place-based regulations, or regulating the manner by which shale gas development occurs (including attempts to control specific negative effects of the process). Case studies that profile regulatory structures in municipalities and counties in Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Texas illustrate the wide variety of regulatory approaches that local jurisdictions have taken.

Keywords: Infrastructure, Land Use Dispute Resolution, Dispute Resolution, Economic Development, Environment, Environmental Management, Environmental Planning, Land Dispute Resolution, Land Law, Land Regulation, Legal Issues, Local Government, Natural Resources, Public Policy, Regulatory Regimes, Natural Gas, Hydraulic Fracturing, Fracking, Shale