An Otsego County farmer filed suit today against the tiny town of Middlefield to overturn the town's ban on gas drilling.

Jennifer Huntington said in her lawsuit that the town law that prohibits gas drilling violates her right to extract gas beneath her land. She claims that state law forbids municipalities from adopting laws that ban gas drilling. Huntingon has signed leases with Canadian drilling company Gastem to extract gas from her 300-acre farm.

More than 20 municipalities in Upstate New York have enacted laws aimed at limiting or banning the controversial gas drilling practice known as hydrofracking. The suit against Middlefield is the first in the state to challenge drilling bans, said Huntington's attorney, Scott Kurkoski. He said he anticipates the case will ultimately be decided by the state's highest court.


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