Hallelujah! The decision from the highest court in New York State just came down, affirming that towns can use their home rule zoning authority to ban shale gas extraction (aka fracking) within their borders.
On the one hand, I am very happy for the jurisdictions with bans in place. It’s a huge victory for NY fracktivists and the fantastic legal teams that have been working on these court cases at the various levels for three years.
On the other hand, I am frightened for towns like mine that have conflicts of interest on the town board with members who refuse to recuse themselves. They are on record saying that our current zoning protects us, even though it doesn’t. We need a permanent statewide ban so that the rest of the townspeople don’t get subjected to all the pollution in order for a few large landowners and related business owners to make money at the expense of our health, environment, and quality of life.
Because I live on the PA border with drilling just over the town line, we are already suffering negative impacts. Air, water, traffic, climate and other impacts don’t respect human-created borders. We need not to add to them by allowing shale drilling and related infrastructure and waste disposal to occur in New York State.
The decision is attached to this brief article: http://polhudson.lohudblogs.com/2014/06/30/nys-top-court-says-towns-can-ban-fracking/