‘Home Rule’ Taking Root in NY, PA and now in OH Too
The so-called “home rule” movement grants power to local town boards to ban hydraulic fracturing either by enacting laws or by the use of zoning. Two court cases challenging home rule in New York are winding their way through the system now. Home rule is also a controversy in Pennsylvania with seven townships taking the state to court over the new Act 13 provision that strips away most of their zoning rights when it comes to oil and gas drilling in favor of state zoning rules.
Home rule is now alive in Ohio too—in Beaver Township (Mahoning County). A group of Beaver Township residents are collecting signatures for a November ballot that would make Beaver a “home rule” township. And in so doing, would grant them the power to shut down drilling.