The state Court of Appeals affirmed a midlevel appeals court ruling from last year that said the state oil and gas law doesn't trump the authority of local governments to control land use through zoning. The two fracking cases from two central New York towns have been closely watched by drillers hoping to tap into the state's piece of the Marcellus Shale formation and by environmentalists who fear water and air pollution.
Both sides are still waiting to see whether a statewide moratorium on fracking in effect since July 2008 will be lifted. The court in a 5-2 decision stressed that it did not consider the merits of fracking, but only the "home rule" authority of municipalities to regulate their land use. The court said the towns of Dryden and Middlefield both acted properly.
~~ NBC Radio News