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Maurer School of Law: Indiana University

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Fracking And The Rural Poor: Negative Externalities, Failing Remedies, And Federal Legislation, Matthew Castelli May 2015

Fracking And The Rural Poor: Negative Externalities, Failing Remedies, And Federal Legislation, Matthew Castelli

Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equality

This Note examines the relationship between the rural poor and the negative externalities of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). It asserts that the rural poor are disproportionately burdened with fracking’s negative externalities and that comprehensive, national regulation is needed because current legal methods are insufficient to internalize these costs. The argument is made in four parts: describing fracking’s externalities; assessing their impact on the rural poor; analyzing current legal regimes; and proposing an equitable regulatory framework based on cooperative federalism.

Fracking produces three main categories of negative externalities: water, air, and land contamination. Water contamination can be caused by migration ...