In two separate decisions issued last week, the Supreme Court of the State of New York (the state’s trial level court) upheld the Town of Dryden’s ban on hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) in Tompkins County, and upheld the Town of Middlefield’s ban on fracking in Otsego County. (Fracking involves the injection of a mix of water, chemicals and propping agents under high-pressure into subsurface gas bearing formations causing them to fracture, thereby allowing for the release and production of natural gas trapped in those low permeability formations.) Both courts held that while the state has control over how drilling operations occur, local governments retain discretion over where such activities take place. Click here to read more.
Stevi Raab, associate in the New York office, contributed to the article.