New York Supreme Court Judge Donald Cerio Jr. has upheld a hydraulic fracturing ban posed by the town of Middlefield. Earlier this month State Supreme Court Judge Philip Rumsey ruled that a fracking ban in the Town of Dryden, New York was not preempted by state law, starting what some believe to be a “kiss of death” for natural gas drilling in New York state.
New York posed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in 2010 until regulators defined better environmental rules. However, since then nearly 20 towns in the state have banned drilling all together.
An attorney for at least two entities who challenged the bans, said “This is really the kiss of death for drilling in New York…No prudent operator is going to invest in leases in New York if those leases are at the mercy of a zoning ban.”
An attorney for the town of Middlefield told Bloomberg that she believes, “At this point, the oil and gas companies would be wise to just leave the decision where it stands… For communities that think fracking is something they would like to have or communities that would welcome fracking, then those companies can operate in those communities. But for others like Middlefield who have decided for good and valid reasons to ban fracking, oil companies should move somewhere else.”