Landowners -- we have a victory to celebrate -- the two-year moratorium on natural gas development in the City of Binghamton has been invalidated -- or thrown out!  Congratulations to all!

The JLCNY is very pleased that the two-year moratorium on natural gas development in the City of Binghamton has been invalidated by Broome County Supreme Court Justice Ferris D. Lebous.The JLCNY extends congratulations to attorneys Rob Wedlake and Ken Kamlet who achieved this legal victory.

Judge Lebous said in his decision:

“However, the City cannot just invoke its police power solely as a means to satisfy certain segments of the community. Rather, the City must satisfy the well established legal requirements that show a dire emergency; that the moratorium is reasonably calculated to alleviate a crisis; and that they are taking steps to solve the problem.” He goes on to say: “In this case, there is no other conclusion that the Court can reach, however, that the Local Law 11-006, fails to meet the criteria for a properly enacted moratorium.” He added: “There can be no showing of a dire need since the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has not yet published the new regulations that are required before any natural gas exploration or drilling can occur in this State.

”But one thing is clear, this is another stark reminder of the failure of our State leadership. Local governments should not be in this position to begin with, and we certainly know they have more important things to spend strained tax dollars on in the southern tier than lawsuits. Towns should not be passing moratoriums, especially before the release of the SGEIS.

It is time for Governor Cuomo to stand up for his constituents here, most of whom are struggling to keep their farms or their families in New York. Issue the clear guidelines now before the clock runs out on the regulatory review that the DEC has spent thousands of hours and four years to conduct.

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