Cooperstown Holstein Corporation has filed suit in Ostego County challenging a ban on drilling enacted by the Town of Middlefield. The case was brought in New York State Supreme Court, Otsego County.
In its complaint, Cooperstown Holstein alleges that it owns land within the Town of Middlefield, as well as the rights to develop the minerals beneath that land. It further alleges that the Town of Middlefield’s new zoning ordinance, which prohibits "[h]eavy industry and all oil, gas or solution mining and drilling," will adversely its rights if oil and gas operations cannot be conducted on its land. Similar to the arguments made in the Town of Dryden case brought by The West Firm on behalf of Anschutz Exploration Corporation, the Middlefield case argues that the Town’s ban on drilling is preempted by section 23-0303(2) of New York's Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) as well as the comprehensive statutory and regulatory program for oil and gas drilling under the exclusive jurisdiction of the State.
Click here to view a copy of the Middlefield Complaint.