New York's highest court has agreed to hear appeals from a drilling company and a farmer challenging municipal bans on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.
The Court of Appeals, without comment Thursday, has accepted two cases where lower courts upheld bans in the upstate towns of Middlefield in Otsego County and Dryden, near Ithaca.
A midlevel court unanimously concluded that state mining and drilling law doesn't trump the authority of local governments to control land use.
More than 50 New York municipalities have banned gas drilling in the past few years, and more than 100 have enacted moratoriums on drilling activities.
Norse Energy Corp. and a dairy farmer planning to allow drilling on her land are challenging the local restrictions.
New York hasn't decided whether to lift a 5-year-old moratorium on fracking.
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