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New York State Court of Appeals in Albany. photo by Albany, NY CC-BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia

NY Court upholds local frack bans

Shane Thielges | Shale Plays Media

New York’s State Court of Appeals upheld a ruling today allowing municipalities to ban hydraulic fracturing.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that in a 5-2 decision, the Court affirmed a 2013 ruling saying the state’s oil and gas laws don’t overrule the local government’s power to control development by land zoning. The Court also stressed that it did not consider the merits of the bans in its decision, only the application of the “home rule” authority.

According to the majority ruling:

“The towns both studied the issue and acted within their home rule powers in determining that gas drilling would permanently alter and adversely affect the deliberately-cultivated, small-town character of their communities.” 

New York has been under a statewide moratorium on fracking since 2008 and over 170 towns have local bans or moratoriums. Governer Andrew Cuomo has said he will not make a decision about lifting the ban until a state study on the practice’s health effects, underway since 2012, is complete.

Read the full story at Bloomberg Businessweek: New York top court OKs local gas-drilling bans

Related: Texas gas town considers banning fracking