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NY appeals court to consider local fracking

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Towns that want to control land use through zoning against the drilling industry are being pitted against landowners who say state law trumps local authority. 

Arguments are scheduled today in a state appeals court in two cases over who should control oil and gas development.

In the last few years, more than 50 New York municipalities have banned gas drilling and more than 100 have enacted moratoriums on drilling activities. The bans stem from local residents' concerns about potential impacts if the state lifts its 5-year-old moratorium on gas drilling using high-volume hydraulic fracturing.

Trial-level state Supreme Court judges upheld bans that were challenged in the towns of Dryden and Middlefield. Appeals of those decisions will be argued today in the mid-level Appellate Division. A decision is expected in about six weeks.

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