Image courtesy of Shannon Ramos/Wikimedia Commons.

The first ever fracking ban in Texas took effect Wednesday amid legal challenges from industry and state agencies declaring the policy unconstitutional.

Denton, a small town north of Dallas located in the Barnett shale play, voted to ban hydraulic fracturing on November 4.

The Texas Oil and Gas Association filed suit shortly after the election night results, calling the rule unenforceable and invalid.

The industry group argued that Denton can not ban fracking because the practice has been approved and regulated by state agencies, the Texas Tribune said.

The Texas General Land Office has also filed suit against the town, arguing the ban threatens state royalty revenues used to fund public education.

Hearing dates for the lawsuits have not been selected yet.

The town’s attorneys field a brief Monday calling fracking a “public nuisances, that causes “noise, increased heavy truck traffic, liquid spills, vibrations and other offensive results.”

The ban only applies to fracking and does not affect conventional drilling.

Opponents of the rule have argued the Barnett shale gas reserves under Denton can only be reached through fracking.

While Texas state law says mineral resources should be “fully and effectively exploited” local governments can also regulate the exploration and development of resources in their own areas.


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