Friday, February 24, 2012

Victory comes on the heels of similar ruling for Dryden
Joe Mahoney
COOPERSTOWN — In a major setback for the natural gas industry, a state judge today upheld the legality of the town of Middlefield's ban on drilling for natural gas, marking the second victory of the week for home rule advocates out to stop hydrofracking.

Acting State Supreme Court Judge Donald Cerio, in an 11-page decision, said there was "no support" for claims that the state Legislature, by enacting the Environrmental Conservation Law in 1981, intended to "abrogate the constitutional and statutory authority vested in local municipalities to enact legislation affecting land use.

The lawsuit aimed at upending revisions to Middlefield's zoning law that were enacted last year was brought by Jennifer Huntington, owner of Cooperstown Holstein Corp., a company that has leased nearly 400 acres in the town to a gas drilling company.
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