Learn How Implied Preemption Can Limit Your Local Authority at #MACoCon

Think you have local authority to regulate in a policy area because state law is silent on the issue? Think again because a court may find you have no authority under the legal doctrine of “implied preemption.” Learn about implied preemption, including two recent high profile court decisions on solar siting and pesticide regulation, at the 2019 MACo Summer Conference.

Don’t Be Tempted to Be Preempted


The state can pass laws to preempt local authority – and sometimes this doesn’t even happen in a public debate. Even when it is not explicit in law, Maryland courts have developed a test called “implied preemption” to determine when local governments are prohibited from passing regulations or laws in a subject area. Given that implied preemption can only be established through litigation, this creates an unnecessary level of uncertainty and expenses for local governments. Counties have had their authority challenged over their right to site solar facilities and gravel pits, regulate tobacco products, and limit pesticide usage in areas frequented by children. Speakers will provide an overview of the implied preemption doctrine, discuss specific examples where county authority has been challenged, and explain the results of those court cases and what that means for your county.


  • Christopher Drummond, Attorney at Law
  • Edward Lattner, Division of Government Operations Chief, Montgomery County Attorney’s Office
  • Kim Haddow, Executive Director, Local Solutions Support Center


The Honorable Andrea Fletcher Harrison, Maryland House of Delegates

Date & Time: Friday, August 15, 2019; 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: