If Your Community Does NOT Have Zoning: Pursue Other Legal Remedies
If your community has no zoning, or while they are considering zoning, you can still pursue other legal actions to protect yourself. The mere fact that a township does not have a zoning plan does not necessarily leave a property or landowner without any sort of recourse when it comes to oil and gas development in their area. While a zoning plan may provide more direct protection for landowners, it is not a cure-all. There are very well established areas of law that cover some of the common problems that citizens face when oil and gas industry begin working in their area.
"Tort law" is how practitioners refer to lawsuits that concern injury to property or person. The two most common types of tort cases that individuals can bring against frackers are "nuisance" and "trespass", both of which cover intrusions into the use and enjoyment of one’s property. Nuisance is similar to trespass but instead of a say, a person physically invading your property the invasion is done by more intangible things like noise or odors . For example, if a nearby well pad site is creating a noxious odor that is so strong you can no longer use or enjoy your own property, you may have a nuisance claim. See the Protect Our Children Coalition's Organizing ABCs Guide for other legal considerations.