Judge tosses Sidney fracking ban

By Amy Khuu

January 15, 2014 Updated Jan 15, 2014 at 11:15 AM EDT

Sidney, N.Y. (WBNG Binghamton) A Delaware County judge threw out last year's local ban on hydraulic fracturing imposed by the Sidney Town Board, saying their actions were invalid.

The board voted last year 3-1 to ban the natural gas drilling process within the town's borders.

But a Delaware County judge ruled the town needed at least four of its members to vote in favor of the moratorium -- what's known as a super majority -- in order for the local ban to hold, according to Rob Wedlake, attorney for Howard, Hinman & Kattel.

Wedlake represented 30 to 40 Sidney residents who wanted the ability to sell or lease their land to natural gas drilling companies.

Wedlake said a formal objection filed by his clients created the necessity for the super majority vote. He said the judge's decision could set a legal precedent for other town boards and land owners.

Wedlake said the town board has the ability to appeal.

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