New York appeals court says towns can ban hydraulic fracturing

The New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division ruled May 2 that townships in New York state can ban hydraulic fracturing and shale gas drilling within municipal borders. The appeals court ruled in favor of the towns of Dryden and Middlefield.

Both Dryden and Middlefield had passed zoning laws against gas drilling activities, and the appeals court upheld the zoning laws for the two communities in two separate cases. Dryden is in Tompkins County while Middlefield is in Otsego County. Norse Energy Corp. was the plaintiff in the Dryden case.

Norse Energy's predecessor in lease interest, Anschutz Exploration Corp. of Denver, filed a lawsuit in September 2011 concerning its leases in Dryden, court documents showed. Anschutz later sold those leases to Norse.

The natural gas industry argues New York law defers regulatory oversight of drilling to the state. Attorneys for Dryden and Middlefield argued a “home use” clause in state law gave them the ability to use zoning laws as they deemed best. The four-judge appeals court ruled unanimously in favor of Dryden and Middlefield.

The appeals court ruling said, "While the town's exercise of its right to regulate land use through zoning will inevitable have an incidental effect upon the oil, gas, and solution mining industries, we conclude that zoning ordinances are not the type of regulatory provision that the Legislature intended to be preempted" by the New York Oil, Gas, and Solution Mining Law."

In a separate case, Lenape Resources Inc. has a lawsuit against Avon, a town in Livingston County, NY, to overturn a municipal moratorium on fracturing (OGJ Online, Dec. 3, 2012).

Meanwhile, New York has had a temporary moratorium on high-volume fracturing since 2010 while the New York Department of Environmental Conservation develops proposed rules.

Related Articles

Market watch: Energy futures prices rose slightly Friday

05/06/2002 Crude oil futures prices rose slightly Friday amid lingering uncertainty about a possible disruption of Middle East supplies, although tensions in ...

Gulf of Mexico oil service sector showing signs of an upturn

05/06/2002 The Gulf of Mexico oil service sector is experiencing the signs of an upturn, analysts with Simmons & Co. International, UBS Warburg LLC, and RBC D...

OTC: Industry, national agencies need to work together to make FPSOs work in the gulf

05/06/2002 Over the coming years, the oil and gas industry will have to keep an open line of communication with national agencies such as the US Coast Guard a...

Market watch: Energy futures prices fall as Iraq lifts embargo

05/07/2002 Crude oil futures prices fell Monday after Iraq announced plans to lift a self-imposed export embargo with exports expected to resume by Wednesday.

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected