Judge: N.Y. town can ban fracking
A New York State judge ruled on Friday that a community can ban natural gas drilling within its borders, The New York Times reports.
It was the second court decision this week affirming local authority over "fracking."
Last June Middlefield, in Otsego County, passed a zoning law prohibiting heavy industry, including oil and gas drilling. A landowner, who had signed a lease granting drilling rights to a gas company sued the town.
Jennifer K. Huntington, a dairy farmer and president of Cooperstown Holstein Corporation, argued that only the state could regulate drilling. She said in her suit that Middlefield's ban denied her the economic benefits of the leases, "including the right to market [her land's] minerals, including oil and natural gas."
Acting State Supreme Court justice Donald F. Cerio Jr., decided that New York State's regulatory powers did not overrule a municipality passing a law governing land use.
Last Tuesday another drilling ban, in Dryden, was upheld in a suit brought by an oil and gas company.
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