Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

BREAKING: Court Rules Town of Dryden Can Ban Fracking

Energy

EcoWatch

New York Supreme Court Justice Phillip R. Rumsey ruled today in favor of the right of the Town of Dryden to adopt zoning that prohibits natural gas drilling within its borders in Tomkins County.

In the case of Anschutz Exploration Corporation v. the Town of Dryden and the Town of Dryden Town Board, the judge concluded that the town zoning ordinances is not preempted by the state Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law.

"This is an important vindication of local democracy—with national ramifications—at a time when it is being trampled in our country by powerful interests like the gas and oil industry," said Adrian Kuzminski a moderator for Sustainable Otsego.

This is the first ruling in New York on the issue as to whether towns can outlaw gas drilling, including hydraulic fracturing. There are more than a dozen communities that have adopted similar drilling bans throughout the state.

"New York State Supreme Court Judge Phillip R. Rumsey affirms via granting Summary Judgement, right power and authority by the Town of Dryden, New York to pass a zoning amendment to protect the health and welfare of its citizens from the deleterious FRACers. Hopefully Judge Rumsey will be affirmed on the probable Appeal," stated Denise Katzman, a media industry business manager at EcoEdifier.

"This decision is vitally important because it ruled against the Denver-based company Anschutz, a conglomerate focused on natural gas exploration or production projects in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming," said Katzman.

"This is huge victory for the Town of Dryden. In an impressive and well reasoned opinion, Judge Rumsey resolved all claims in favor of the Town of Dryden except one. The provision in the Dryden law that invalidated any permit issued in violation of the Town law was stricken and severed. Significantly, the Court found that even a 'total ban' on extraction is permissible, because there is no express legislative intent to preempt local laws or ordinances in the Oil and Gas Law. This will go a long way to reassure towns and local governments that properly enacted land use and zoning laws remain enforceable against industry claims that they were immune from their application," said Nicole Dillingham from Otsego 2000.

To read a copy of the decision, click here.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Michael Svoboda

The enduring pandemic will make conventional forms of travel difficult if not impossible this summer. As a result, many will consider virtual alternatives for their vacations, including one of the oldest forms of virtual reality – books.

Read More Show Less
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility on Thursday accused NOAA of ignoring its own scientists' findings about the endangerment of the North Atlantic right whale. Lauren Packard / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Julia Conley

As the North Atlantic right whale was placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's list of critically endangered species Thursday, environmental protection groups accusing the U.S. government of bowing to fishing and fossil fuel industry pressure to downplay the threat and failing to enact common-sense restrictions to protect the animals.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Beth Ann Mayer

Since even moderate-intensity workouts offer a slew of benefits, walking is a good choice for people looking to stay healthy.

Read More Show Less
Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. JustTulsa / CC BY 2.0

Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

Read More Show Less
The Firefly Watch project is among the options for aspiring citizen scientists to join. Mike Lewinski / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Tiffany Means

Summer and fall are great seasons to enjoy the outdoors. But if you're already spending extra time outside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be out of ideas on how to make fresh-air activities feel special. Here are a few suggestions to keep both adults and children entertained and educated in the months ahead, many of which can be done from the comfort of one's home or backyard.

Read More Show Less
People sit at the bar of a restaurant in Austin, Texas, on June 26, 2020. Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars to be closed by noon on June 26 and for restaurants to be reduced to 50% occupancy. Coronavirus cases in Texas spiked after being one of the first states to begin reopening. SERGIO FLORES / AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus may linger in the air in crowded indoor spaces, spreading from one person to the next, the World Health Organization acknowledged on Thursday, as The New York Times reported. The announcement came just days after 239 scientists wrote a letter urging the WHO to consider that the novel coronavirus is lingering in indoor spaces and infecting people, as EcoWatch reported.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A never-before-documented frog species has been discovered in the Peruvian highlands and named Phrynopus remotum. Germán Chávez

By Angela Nicoletti

The eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains in central Perú are among the most remote places in the world.

Read More Show Less