On Thursday, the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, agreed to hear challenges to two municipal bans on fracking. In one, drilling company Norse Energy is challenging an appellate court’s decision upholding the Town of Dryden’s ban. And in the other, the challenge is being made by a dairy farmer against the Town of Middlefield’s ban. In each of the cases the lower court upheld the towns’ bans on the grounds that state mining law doesn’t trump the authority of municipalities to control land use.
The Court of Appeals’ decision in the case will affect at least 50 New York towns that have enacted similar bans on fracking and over 100 that have enacted temporary moratoriums. Unless there is a request for the cases to be expedited, it is expected that the Court will hear and decide them next Spring.