NY Supreme Court upholds right to local land use planning for energy projects

Here from Ottawa economist Robert Lyman, a comment on a recent court decision in New York State, that has relevance to Ontario. Currently, 83 Ontario municipalities have declared that they are Not A Willing Host to industrial-scale wind power projects.

Municipalities in Ontario whose authority over land use and zoning decisions affecting wind turbines and solar power facilities has been restricted by the Green Energy and Green Economy Act may have some interest in a recent decision of the New York State Court of Appeals. On June 30, 2014, the court ruled on a case that pitted the rural towns of Dryden and Middlefield against Anschutz Exploration Corp., a company that wanted to conduct hydraulic fracturing of natural gas in shale deposits. The court upheld the rulings of lower courts dismissing lawsuits that challenged bans on hydraulic fracturing within town limits imposed by the two municipalities.

The court’s decision can be read here.

https://www.nycourts.gov/ctapps/Decisions/2014/Jun14/130-131opn14-Decision.pdf

In it, the court made clear that the case was not about whether hydraulic fracturing was beneficial or detrimental to the economy, environment or energy needs of New York, and that it passed no judgment on its merits. Instead, the court focused on the question of whether Dryden and Middlefield acted within their “home rule” authority under the New York Constitution. …

Read the full comment here. LOCAL GOVERNMENT POWER TO GOVERN USE OF LAND BY ENERGY COMPANIES

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