Ny Court Votes In Favor Of Towns Controlling Gas Drilling Borders

05.03.13 | Sarah Harnisch

An appeals court in New York has ruled towns have the power to ban drilling, if they choose to.  A mid-level court in New York has ruled local municipalities can use local zoning laws to ban the practice within city limits. The four-judge panel ruled unanimously that state mining and drilling law does not trump the authority of local governments to control land use. The towns of Dryden and Middlefield rejoiced, saying it was quote "nice to have town's rights affirmed by the court." But not everyone is pleased. Gas company Norse Energy said this right belongs to individual landowners-- not towns. Norse Energy says it's already working on an appeal of the case. The court decisions could have widespread ramifications if New York allows high-volume hydrofracking within its borders. More then 150 towns have passed a ban or moratorium on drilling so far.