New York Towns Can Now Prohibit Fracking

July 1, 2014 | Sophie Weiner

The highest court in New York State ruled this week that towns can use zoning laws to ban hydraulic fracking within their borders, the New York Times reports. There has yet to be any fracking in the state, as the State Health Department studies its harmful potential, but that hasn’t stopped people from worrying what could happen in the future.

The upstate towns of Dryden and Middlefield have banned fracking since 2011. Those towns have already been challenged legally by oil companies, spurring the case. Anti-frackers are delighted by the decision. “This sends a message to all the oil and gas drillers anxiously eyeing our borders,” says director of Community Fracking Defense Project Kate Sinding. “The people of New York will not be steamrolled.” (Photo: CREDO.fracking)