This week, New York's highest court has confirmed the right of towns to ban fracking. Though legally a case about the power of localities versus the preemptive effect of state law, the result is that opponents of fracking have a powerful tool — local ordinances — to prevent fracking in their communities. (Fracking is a process of gas extraction that can produce some pretty scary collateral damage.)
The court decision begins with a summary of its holding:
We are asked in these two appeals whether towns may ban oil and gas production activities, including hydrofracking, within municipal boundaries through the adoption of local zoning laws. We conclude that they may because the supersession clause in the statewide Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law (OGSML) does not preempt the home rule authority vested in municipalities to regulate land use.
And the Washington Post has the story.