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News Link • Energy

Second NY Judge Rules: Towns Can Block Fracking

• Common Dreams staff report
 For the second time this week, New York state judges have rules that towns have the power to ban fracking despite a state regulation asserting they cannot.
Environmental groups celebrated the pair of decisions, which say "that ordinary citizens, and the local governments who listen to them, have power to determine the character of their communities for themselves," the group New York Water Rangers said in a release.

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The Associated Press reports:

While only the state can set rules for oil and gas drilling in New York, local governments have the right to ban the industry from operating within their borders, a state court judge ruled Friday in the second opinion of its kind this week.

The ruling, seen as a victory for local "home rule" and a blow to the industry and gas lease-holding landowners, was handed up by State Supreme Court Judge Donald Cerio in Otsego County. He rejected the claim of a landowner who argued that the rural town of Middlefield's zoning ordinance enacted last year violated a 1981 state law that trumps local laws when it comes to regulating oil and gas drilling.

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