December 2, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 39°F


Oil company loses lawsuit against Dryden fracking ban

A state judge ruled today that the Town of Dryden was within its rights to ban hydraulic fracturing, a decision that stopped a lawsuit filed by a Denver-based oil company against the town’s ban.

In August, the Dryden Zoning Ordinance was amended to ban all activities related to the exploration, production or storage of natural gas extraction, according to the court document, Anschutz v. Dryden.

Judge Phillip Rumsey determined that New York state oil and gas law does not restrict municipalities from changing their own zoning laws to halt natural gas pursuits, according to a statement from Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, D-N.Y., who opposes fracking.

In the statement, Lifton said she was pleased with the ruling, which sides with the Town of Dryden’s home rule, or ability to control natural gas drilling within its jurisdiction.

“I am thrilled with the just-released decision from Justice Rumsey in Anschutz v. Dryden,” she said in the statement. “I have long argued, in both my amicus brief filed in this case and with my home rule bills, that our long-held tradition of home rule in New York still applies to drilling. This is a victory for municipalities and land-owners across New York.”

The lawsuit was filed by Denver-based Anschutz Corporation last fall after Dryden changed its zoning laws to ban the controversial process of extracting natural gas from the ground. Anschutz owns 22,000 acres of land leases in Dryden.

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