The residents of Grant Township, Pennsylvania, were worried about Little Mahoning Creek, a picturesque trout stream best fished in the spring when the water runs fast. The Pennsylvania General Energy Company had acquired a federal permit to drill an injection well down 7,000 feet about seven miles from the creek to dispose of wastewater from its natural gas hydraulic fracturing operations. Fearing the operation would harm the Little Mahoning watershed, the town’s supervisors last year passed a “community bill of rights” that blocked the well, stripped the company of its right to inject wastewater underground, and declared that the state had no jurisdiction in the matter. The ordinance, they openly acknowledged, was likely to be challenged, and defending its legality would be difficult. Driven largely by opposition to hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, communities across the United States have passed or are considering measures to assert their right […]