Judge Strikes Down Binghamton Drilling Moratorium

Judge Strikes Down Binghamton Drilling Moratorium

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (AP) - A state court has invalidated Binghamton's two-year moratorium on natural gas drilling, marking the first time a local law enacted to limit hydraulic fracturing in New York has been struck down.

State Supreme Court Justice Ferris D. Lebous ruled Tuesday that the law approved by the city in December 2011 "fails to meet the criteria of a properly enacted moratorium."

New York regulators are currently considering whether to allow natural gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing, a controversial process denounced by many environmentalists. As the review continues, more than 30 upstate municipalities have passed bans on gas drilling and more than 80 have enacted moratoriums.

Lebous said that the city had not shown there was a dire need for the law in the absence of state regulations allowing hydraulic fracturing.