Updated 05/31/2012 05:42 PM
Mayor Ryan responds to lawsuit
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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- The mayor of Binghamton has responded to a lawsuit served against the city this week.
An attorney from Hinman, Howard and Katell is representing a Vestal plaintiff who is suing the city for passing a two year ban on hydrofracking.
Binghamton City Council passed the resolution in December, which bans drilling, exploration and any other fracking-related practice within the city limits. The lawsuit argues the city violated state law because the legislation was not referred to the County Department of Planning and Economic Development even though it could potentially affect other municipalities within the county. The suit also claims Binghamton violated its own law by not submitting the resolution to its own planning commission.
Mayor Matt Ryan, however, says the law did not need such approval.
"They put a demand letter on us saying we didn't do what's called a '239-M' review, which we feel is only necessary for land use and zoning purposes. We passed our law under the police powers, police powers to protect our sole-source aquifer, so that's really the lawsuit is about and the court will decide if they're right or we're right," Mayor Ryan said.
If the courts decide in favor of the plaintiff, the legislation will have to go to the County Department of Planning and Economic Development, which can then recommend disapproval or modification.
If either happens, the law would go back to City Council where it would need a supermajority to pass.