ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A mid-level state appeals court says New York municipalities can ban the use of hydraulic fracturing to drill for natural gas.
The four-judge appellate division panel ruled unanimously Thursday that state law doesn't trump the authority of local governments to control land use.
Norse Energy Corp.'s challenge to a drilling ban in the upstate town of Dryden has been closely watched by an industry hoping to drill in New York's piece of the Marcellus Shale formation and opponents who fear drilling could threaten water supplies and public health.
In a separate ruling based on the Dryden decision, the court upheld another ban in the town of Middlefield.
Lawyers for Norse and a landowner in Middlefield say they'll ask the state's top court for permission to appeal.
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