Local gas drilling laws get a key airing in Ohio - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Local gas drilling laws get a key airing in Ohio

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A closely watched lawsuit in Ohio is asking a question that's burning in cities and towns throughout shale country: Should state law trump local regulations when it comes to drilling?

The Akron suburb of Munroe Falls argues Beck Energy Corp. was wrong to ignore local ordinances during a drilling project begun in 2011. Beck says a 2004 state law gave the Ohio Department of Natural Resources exclusive authority to regulate oil and gas drilling.

Similar legal clashes are playing out across the U.S., but Ohio's is the first to reach a state's highest court and could be precedent-setting.

The case has implications for the spread of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. It centers on a traditional well, but the centralized oil and gas regulation that's in question regulates both kinds.

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