New York’s Highest Court to Review Decisions Upholding Local Gas Drilling Bans

On August 29, 2013, the New York Court of Appeals announced that it has granted appeals to review two cases which upheld local natural gas drilling bans in the upstate towns of Dryden and Middlefield.  The lower court decisions, both of which were issued on May 2, 2013, held that the New York Oil, Gas, and Solution Mining Law does not preempt a municipality’s authority to enact a zoning ordinance that prohibits drilling within its jurisdiction.  Over the past few years, more than 50 municipalities in New York have banned gas drilling.   A spokesman for the Court of Appeals told the Associated Press that the cases will likely be heard and decided in Spring 2014.