avon

New York’s top court has been asked to decide whether local governments can ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing.

Last month a mid-level appeals court ruled unanimously in favor of upholding local bans in the towns of Dryden and Middlefield, meaning there’s no requirement for the case to be taken up by the top court.

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New York’s second highest court upheld the right for two municipalities to ban gas drilling Thursday. But, that decision won’t deter gas and oil producer Lenape Resources from appealing a similar ban in the upstate community of Avon.

Attorney for Lenape Resources Michael Joy says Thursday’s rulings in favor of the towns of Dryden and Middlefield are not the final word on this issue.

The state’s second highest court, the Appellate Division for the 3rd Department, has ruled in favor of New York towns with bans on gas drilling. In two decisions released Thursday, a four-judge panel ruled unanimously in favor of the Towns of Dryden and Middlefield.

Earthjustice attorney Deborah Goldberg argued for the Town of Dryden. She says the unanimous decisions put to rest the question of whether New York towns can ban drilling.

“I think that it’s quite clear that there is no dispute among them and there should be no dispute generally on this issue,” says Goldberg.

Matt Richmond/WSKG

In two separate rulings Thursday, the state's Appellate Division, Third Department has ruled that the state's Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law (OGSML) does not preempt municipal land use laws.

The decision on so-called 'home rule', was being closely monitored because of the implications for future resource development, which could include hydraulic fracturing or fracking. 

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Gas and Oil producer Lenape Resources has filed a note of appeal as part of an attempt to overturn a court decision made in March that allowed the town of Avon to maintain its moratorium on fracking. This is the third case of this kind in upstate New York.

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