In twin decisions handed down today, the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department upheld two local zoning laws that prohibit activities related to oil and gas development (commonly referred to as “hydraulic fracturing”) (the “zoning laws”).  The two appeals, Matter of Norse Energy Corporation USA v. Town of Dryden and Cooperstown Holstein Corporation v. Town of Middlefield challenged the zoning laws as preempted by the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law (“OGSML”), codified at Environmental Conservation Law (“ECL”) 23-0301 et seq.
Continue Reading Appeals Court Upholds Drilling Bans

State Supreme Court Justice Ferris D. Lebous recently overturned a local ordinance adopted by the Binghamton City Council in 2011 to ban activities associated with gas drilling and exploration for a period of two years. Justice Lebous’ decision is the first in New York State to overrule a local ordinance pertaining to the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Continue Reading State Supreme Court Overrules Local Fracking Ordinance