Binghamton Hydrofracking Moratorium Ruled Invalid

By Matt Hicks

October 2, 2012 Updated Oct 3, 2012 at 10:40 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A state supreme court judge has ruled the City of Binghamton's ban on hydrofracking invalid.

The two-year moratorium was put in place in December 2011 by a 6-1 vote.

But on June 19, a group of landowners challenged the decision, taking it to the state Supreme Court.

Elvin Jeffrey, a member of the Vestal Gas Coalition and one of the petitioners who sued the city, lauded the judge's decision Tuesday night.

"I would commend the judge for having the courage to do the right thing," Jeffrey said. "He exemplified what a judge should do. He wasn't swayed by pressure."

Jeffrey said the decision is "a step in the right direction for the community."

In a statement released by the mayor's office, spokesman Andrew Block said, "The city looks forward to reviewing today's decision and continuing to do everything we can to ensure our community's health, safety and prosperity."

Meanwhile the Joint Landowner's Commission is praising the decision, saying, "Business owners and residents know that natural gas development will have both economic and environmental benefit for our city and the entire state."