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Anschutz Exploration Corp. v. Town of Dryden

ELR Citation: 42 ELR 20040
Nos. 2011-0902, (N.Y. Sup. Ct., 02/21/2012)

A New York court upheld a town's zoning amendment that bans hydraulic fracturing (hydrofracking) within its jurisdiction. The zoning amendment was enacted in response to a petition from town residents concerned about hydrofracking's impact on ground and surface water supplies. An energy company that had obtained gas leases covering more than one-third of the town's total area prior to the amendment argued that the state's Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law preempted the zoning amendment. But the law lacks a clear expression of legislative intent to preempt local zoning control over land use concerning oil and gas production. The court, therefore, granted the town's motion for summary judgment validating the amendment.