New York cities, towns keep power to block hydro-fracking

By Julianne Peixoto

June 30, 2014 Updated Jun 30, 2014 at 6:26 PM EDT

Albany, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Court of Appeals in Albany upheld a ruling on Monday that gives cities and towns in New York the choice to block hydraulic fracturing within borders.

The court dismissed lawsuits that challenged bans enacted in the upstate towns of Dryden and Middlefield. Meanwhile, Governor Andrew Cuomo is still considering whether to lift the statewide moratorium on fracking.

A group called Vestal Residents for Safe Energy said the practice should be banned until the specific health impacts are known.

"The risk and the dangers of fracking, air contamination and water contamination, wont stop at town borders," said VRSE member Pat Roberts. "So it's really important for Governor Cuomo in the end to base his decision on science, but to protect us all from these risks."

Roberts said there is a likelihood that contaminated water from those towns eventually allowing fracking could easily leak into other towns' water.

Following Monday's ruling, the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York said that many communities across the state want to see the benefits of natural gas development.

The Coalition is urging Governor Cuomo to allow exploration into natural gas for interested towns.