City of Binghamton, New York

Mayor Rich David Today Announces City Has Withdrawn its Appeal of State Appellate Courts Decision to Invalidate Moratorium on Drilling in Binghamton: Two Year Ban Expired On 12/31/13

1/14/2014

BINGHAMTON, NY – Mayor Richard C. David today announced the City has withdrawn its appeal of the State Appellate Courts Decision to invalidate Local Law 11-006, commonly referred to as the moratorium on gas drilling and exploration in Binghamton.

"Last week I directed the City Attorney to withdraw the City's appeal because the law expired on December 31, 2013," said Mayor David. "To ban an action that has not even been approved in New York was premature. Even if the State does approve Fracking there will never be drilling within City limits for a variety of reasons.  There is no point moving forward with a ban or appeal until the Governor receives the findings from the Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Health and renders a decision."   

Timeline of Events

December 21, 2011, City Council Passes Local Law 11-006 the "Prohibition of Gas and Petroleum Exploration..." Chapter 250 of the Code of Ordinances. The Local prohibits all activities associated with drilling for natural gas and gas exploration within the City of Binghamton. The Law expired on its own terms on December 31, 2013, unless extended by the City.

On May 30, 2012 Elvin Jeffrey and four other Petitioners filed a combined Article 78 and declaratory judgment action to invalidate the law.

On October 2, 2012 the Broome County Supreme Court (Judge Lebous) held that Local Law 11-006 is invalid for failure to follow the proper procedures to enact a moratorium.

In November 2012 the City filed a notice of appeal and the Petitioners crossed appealed. The appeals were perfected (the record and all briefs filed by all parties) in 2013 and the date for oral argument is scheduled for February 20, 2014.

As of December 31, 2013 the Local Law expired and it was not extended by City Council and signed by the Mayor. As a result on January 10, 2014, Mayor David directed Corporation Counsel Ken Frank to advise the Appellate Division that the City is withdrawing its appeal. Presumably the Petitioners will withdraw the cross appeal.