DEC: Local hydrofracking bans could end up in court

While the state would try to make sure new natural gas wells in the Marcellus Shale adhere to local laws and zoning ordinances, disputes between municipalities and gas companies would likely be resolved by a court, the state's top environmental regulator predicted Wednesday.

In a editorial board meeting Wednesday, Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner Joseph Martens touted his office's latest review of high-volume hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. The report was released last week and is the latest step toward allowing the gas-drilling technique in New York.

In its report, the DEC requires natural gas companies to show that any proposed sites for new gas wells are in accordance with municipal laws and ordinances. If it clearly isn't, the DEC could refuse to grant a permit.

If a dispute arises, however, it could get dicey.

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