The Dryden and Middlefield cases were mentioned three times in the Final Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the Oil, Gas, and Solution Mining Regulatory Program released by New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on June 29, 2015.
It is clear that the DEC took these cases into consideration while making their decision whether or not to allow fracking in New York State. On page 22 Section II-G Socioeconomics and Community Character, it states:
“The potential economic benefits from high-volume hydraulic fracturing would also likely be further reduced by the New York Court of Appeals recent decision in the matter of Wallach v. Town of Dryden and Cooperstown Holstein Corp. v. Town of Middlefield, which found the ECL13 does not preempt communities with adopted zoning laws from prohibiting high-volume hydraulic fracturing. As a result of this ruling, high-volume hydraulic fracturing could be prohibited in particular communities throughout the state.”
The leadership shown by Dryden and Middlefield in standing up to “Big Gas” has had a profound effect on how our State’s agencies and courts interpret local land use laws. There is a new respect for home-rule! The extent of the influence of this ruling is just beginning to become apparent.