VA Attorney General Herring supports local oversight of fracking

Fracking sites like this one in rural Pennsylvania could be restricted in Virginia based on the state Attorney General's latest opinion. (© SkyTruth)

Local control over shale gas extraction was confirmed in an opinion issued Friday by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring that overruled the opinion of his predecessor. SELC played a role in urging the attorney general to review and reconsider the previous opinion, which had concluded that localities could not prohibit fracking.

The Attorney General’s opinion, which provides a formal interpretation of existing law but does not create or change the law, now says that localities can use zoning ordinances to completely prohibit fracking or to place restrictions on drilling activities. This opinion is especially relevant for the communities in the Chesapeake Bay Region where recent interest in drilling has prompted questions about how best to protect the region’s rivers, water supplies, and rural character.  With confirmation from the attorney general of a community's right to make decisions on fracking that best protect and benefit itself, Virginia localities now have assurance that they can safeguard their environmental and community resources from harmful drilling practices. 

LEARN MORE:

More News

Southern Virginia highway proposal threatens recent progress

This week, SELC filed comments on behalf of itself and 16 organizations on the draft environmental impact statement for the wasteful and destruct...

Nashville mayor signs letter urging Congressional climate action

Nashville Mayor John Cooper is one of nearly 200 U.S. mayors advocating for a zero-carbon green economy that creates jobs and emphasizes equity b...

Thank you for fighting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline with us

When, on July 5th, Duke Energy and Dominion Energy abruptly cancelled the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, it didn't come out of nowhere. For years, SELC...

SELC seeks nominations for 2021 Reed Environmental Writing Award

We are now accepting submissions for the 2021 Phillip D. Reed Environmental Writing Awards. Nominations are welcome from anyone, including reader...

Lawsuit: Government illegally ‘cut corners’ to ram through NEPA changes

SELC is representing a group of 17 environmental organizations in a lawsuit filed today accusing the government of racing through an industry-fri...

Settlement provides relief for Duke Energy customers

The Southern Environmental Law Center recently reached a partial settlement with the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association and Duke Energ...

More Stories