Local Fracking Ban Upheld

By Dave Greber

Local Fracking Ban Upheld

February 21, 2012 Updated Feb 21, 2012 at 9:33 PM EDT

Cortland, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A state Supreme Court judge upholds today a Tompkins County town's decision to ban hydrofracking within its borders.

It's a decision that could have a broad ripple effect across the state as local governments in the Empire State weigh the costs of natural gas drilling.

In its ruling, the state Supreme Court said it agreed with the Dryden Town Board, which in August adopted a zoning ordinance that banned natural gas drilling within its borders.

The Colorado-based Anschutz Exploration Corp. sued the town, saying state law supersedes local local.

The company spent $5.1 million to buy up more than 22,000 acres of land in Dryden, amassing more than a third of the entire town.

The state's High Court said local law is not preempted by laws already on the books in New York--specifically, the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law.

The ruling also sets the stage for a lengthy appeal process, although parties have until this time in March to file with the Appeals Court.