New York High Court Affirms Municipality’s Right to Ban Hydraulic Fracturing Within Its Boundaries

newyork-flagIn a 5-2 ruling on June 30, New York’s highest court rendered a decision… in a hotly contested case regarding the power of municipalities to ban hydraulic fracturing. The state’s Court of Appeals addressed two cases brought with respect to local zoning laws passed by the towns of Dryden and Middlefield. The specific legal issue was whether a locality’s zoning laws were preempted by New York’s Oil, Gas, and Solution Mining Law (OGSML). The court found that the zoning laws were not preempted, and that a municipality
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Pennsylvania Doctor’s Attack on “Medical Gag Rule” Dismissed

On Monday, a Federal District Court granted motions dismissing Dr. Alfonso Rodriguez’ lawsuit as against the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Attorney General on the grounds that Dr. Rodriguez lacks standing to sue. Dr. Rodriguez’ lawsuit challenged the constitutionality of, what he called, the Medical Gag Rules of Pennsylvania’s Act 13.  The Medical Gag Rules provide that under certain circumstances, including when the information is necessary for diagnosis or treatment, doctors may request that fracking companies identify chemicals used in the procedure that are otherwise protected as trade…
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North Carolina Becomes the 22nd State to Permit Hydraulic Fracturing

Unknown-1North Carolina’s governor signed into law the Energy Modernization Act, which  lifts the moritorium on fracking.  North Carolina becomes the 22nd state to permit fracking.  It is predicted that shale gas exploration will begin in 2015.  Permits will be fast-tracked.  North Carolina officials and others debate the total amount of shale gas in North Carolina.   At least one academic has stated, however, that the Sanford sub-basin provides the best opportunity to extract natural gas from the state. Some predict…, on the other hand, that shale
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Penn. AG Files Criminal Charges for Illegal Dumping of Fracking Waste

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane recently filed  64 criminal charges against fracking waste hauler Minuteman Environmental Services, Inc.  The charges, filed against Minuteman’s owner and numerous family members, include allegations that the company illegally dumped solid waste from well drilling operations and overbilled nearly every client that it contracted with. The grand jury report …outlines multiple counts of fraud and criminal conspiracy allegedly perpetrated against fracking companies like Cabot Oil & Gas, Chesapeake Energy, Halliburton, and XTO.
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This Week’s Top Fracking Related Legal News

  • 136000087456h8zNorth Carolina Governor signs a bill into law lifting the 2012 moratorium on fracking and paving the way for new permits to be issued as soon as next Spring.  This comes just two weeks after the North Carolina legislature introduced a bill which would impose criminal penalties to those persons that publicly disclose fracking chemicals that are deemed trade secrets. 
  • New York’s highest court hears oral arguments in two cases concerning whether towns can use zoning regulations to ban fracking.
  • Rural Nevada county files administrative protests

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