For the second time in a week, a court has ruled in favor of a small town’s right to ban industrial gas development, including the controversial gas development technique known as fracking. State Supreme Court Justice Donald F. Cerio Jr. ruled (PDF) in favor of the Upstate New York town of Middlefield in a lawsuit brought against it by a landowner who leased for gas drilling.
The non-profit environmental law firm Earthjustice filed a friend-of-the-court brief and presented oral arguments in the case on behalf of Brewery Ommegang, the Village of Cooperstown, Otsego 200, Natural Resources Defense Council, Theodore Gordon Flyfishers, Riverkeeper and Catskill Mountainkeeper.
Earlier this week, a judge ruled against a lawsuit brought by a billionaire-owned oil and gas company against the town of Dryden, New York, challenging a similar measure approved by the town.
The following is a statement by Earthjustice Managing Attorney Deborah Goldberg:
“For the second time in a week, a court has ruled that local municipalities have the right to decide what industrial activities are appropriate for their communities. This is terrific news, not only for the people of Middlefield and the people of Dryden, but for communities across New York State trying to defend their way of life from destructive gas development. The people went toe-to-toe with the oil and gas industry. And this week, the people won.”