New York Supreme Court Judge Phillip Rumsey has ruled that Dryden, a town in central New York, can block natural gas drilling, stating that the town’s zoning amendment on natural gas drilling was not pre-empted by state law.
The ruling comes after Denver-based Anschutz Exploration Corp., filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn a gas and oil ban in, and around the town of Dryden (located about 200 miles northwest of Manhattan.)
An attorney for Dryden said the judge’s ruling was a “pretty substantial victory.” “The pertinent part of it is, he declared that the zoning amendment as slightly modified is not pre-empted by state law.”
An attorney for Anschutz said he was disappointed by the judge’s decision, and that “These pure questions of law have a tendency to get reviewed, and different judges can see it differently…We still feel very confident in our position that the oil and gas law does pre-empt municipalities from these types of regulation.”
Thus far, New York is the only state that lets municipalities ban natural gas fracking, Bloomberg reported.