|Photo: Dan Wiessner, Reuters
New York judge upholds fracking ban in towns
By Dan Wiessner,
Reuters, Albany New York
February 25, 2012
A New York state judge on Friday upheld an upstate community's ban on gas drilling, marking the second victory this week for opponents of the drilling method known as fracking.
The authority vested in towns and cities in New York to regulate use of their land extends to prohibitions on drilling, acting state Supreme Court Justice Donald Cerio ruled on Friday, dismissing arguments by a landowner who had already sold leases on almost 160 hectares.
"Municipalities are not preempted . . . from enacting local zoning ordinances which may prohibit oil, gas and solution drilling or mining," Cerio wrote. "The state maintains control over the 'how' of (drilling) procedures while the municipalities maintain control over the 'where.' "