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Citation Label: OK010
Publication Name: Sierra Club v. Chesapeake Operating, LLC Order
Publication Type: Judicial Decisions
Section Name:
Author Name: Judge Stephen P. Friot
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Publication Year: 2017
Publication No.: Case 5:16-cv-00134-F
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Local Source File: OK011_SierraClub_v_Chesapeake_Order.pdf
Annotation: In a civil action for declaratory and injunctive relief, plaintiffs sought to reduce the substantial risk of harm from waste-induced earthquakes by court-required measures regulating disposal. The U.S. District Court dismissed the claim stating that seismicity regulation should be left in the hands of state agencies and courts. The U.S. District Court for the Western District in Oklahoma City stated that “The challenge of determining what it will take to meaningfully reduce seismic activity in and near the producing areas of Oklahoma is not an exact science, but it no longer one of black arts. This Court is ill-equipped to outperform the Oklahoma Corporation Commission in advancing that science and putting the growing body of technical knowledge to work in the service of rational regulation.” In its decision, the U.S. District Court explained that “abstention is permitted where the exercise of federal review of the question. . . would be disruptive of state efforts to establish a coherent policy with respect to a matter of substantial public concern.”
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