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Middlefield Decision

Middlefield Decision

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Published by Karla Fisk

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Published by: Karla Fisk on Feb 24, 2012
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10/23/2012

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02/24/201217:013153552721CERIO_CHAMBER
STATEOF
NEWYORK
COURTOFCLAIMS
SIXTHJUDICIALDISTRICT
DonaldF-Cerio,
Jr.
ActingSupremeCourtJustice
TO:MICHAELWRIGHT~ESQ.VICTORMEYERS,ESQ.DEBORAH
GOLDBERG,
ESQ.
JOHNHENRY.
ESQ.
PAGE01/12
MadisonCountyCourthouse
Wampsville,NewYork13163
Telephone:315-366-2321Facsimile:315-366-2721
Susan0_Niles,Secretary.MelissaC.Steams,LawClerk
RE:COOPERSTOWNHOLSTEINCORP.V.TOVv'NOF
MIDDLEFIELD
INDEXNO.011-0930
DATE:FEBRUARY24~2012EnclosedhereinpleasefindacopyoftheDecisionandOrderwithrespecttotheabove-entitledaction.PleasebeadvisedthattheoriginalDecisionandOrderhasbeenmailedtotheOtsegoCountySupremeCourtClerkforfilingthisdate.Thank
you.
Enel.
 
02/24/201217:013153552721CERIO_CHAMBERPAGE02/12
STATEOFNEWYORK
COUNTY
OF
OTSEGOSUPREMECOURT
Present:Han.DonaldF.Ceria;Jr.ActingSupremeCourtJustice
COOPERSTOWN
HOLSTEIN
CORPORATION,
DECISIONAND
ORDER
Plaintiff:
v.
IndexNo-2011-0930
TOWNOF
MIDDLEFIELD;Defendant.ThismattercomesonbeforetheCourtuponPlaintiff'sNoticeofMotionforsummaryjudgmentdatedOctober28,2011,seekingadeclarationofthiscourtthatDefendantTownof'Middlefield'sZoningLawpertainingtoGas,Oil,orSolutionDrillingorMiningandthebanonGas;OilorSolutionDrillingorMiningwithintheTownofMiddlefieldisvoidasbeingpreempted
by
NewYorkStateEnvironmentalConservationLaw§23-0303.DefendantsubmittedaNoticeofCross"MotiondatedDecember5,2011,opposingthereliefrequestedbyPlaintiffandseekingdismissalofPlaintiff
s
complaint.OnDecember13,2011,theparties,includingcounselonbehalfof
Amici,
appearedinMadisonCountySupremeCourtandwereheard.ByDecisionandOrderofthiscourtdatedJanuary11,2012;
AmiciCuriae
applicationofEARTHJUSTICE,
on
behalfofBreweryOmmegang;Villageof
Cooperstown;Otsego
2000;Inc.;NaturalResourcesDefenseCouncil.Inc.;TheodoreGordonFlyfishers,Inc.;Riverkeeper,Inc.,and;CatskillMountainkeeper,andthatoftheTownofUlysses,weregranted.Supplementalsubmissions
by
andonbehalfof
Plaintiff,Defendant
andEARTHJUSTICEweresubsequentlyreceivedbythiscourtonoraboutJanuary20,2012,inconformitywiththisCourt'searlierdirectivewithrespectthereto.ThefollowingreflectstheDecisionandOrderofthisCourt:BriefHistoryTheTownofMiddlefield,OtsegoCounty,NewYork,enactedazoninglawoilJune14,2011,whichbecameeffectiveonJune28;2011;entitled"ALocalLawRepealingtheTownofMiddlefieldZoningOrdinanceandAdoptingtheTownofMiddlefieldZoningLaw."Page1of·11
 
02/24/201217:013153552721CERIO_CHAMBERPAGE03/12
(Defendant'sNoticeofCross-Motion,Exhibit
1).
Article
V
oftheZoningLawentitled"GeneralRegulationsApplyingtoAllDistricts"and
in
particular,SubsectionAentitled
"Prohibited
Uses,"asisrelevanthere,specificallystatesthat,"Heavyindustry
and
alloil,gas
or
solutionmininganddrillingareprohibiteduses.;"ZoningLawArticleII,SubsectionsB(7)andB(8)definethe"erms"HeavyIndustry"and"Gas,Oil,orSolutionDrillingorMining,"asarerelevanthere,asfollows:Gas,Oil.orSolutionDrillingorMining:Theprocessofexplorationanddrillingthroughwellsorsubsurfaceexcavationsforoilorgas,andextraction,production,transportation,purchase,processing,
and
storageofoilor
gas,
including,butnotlimitedtothefollowing:LAnewwellandthesurroundingwellsite,builtandoperatedtoproduceoilorgas,includingauxiliaryequipmentrequiredforproduction(separators,dehydrators,pumpingunits,tankbatteries,tanks,meteringstations,andotherrelatedequipment;
ii.
Any
equipmentinvolved
in
there-workingof
an
existingwell;iii.
A
waterorfluidinjectionstation(s)includingassociatedfacilities;iv.Astorageorconstructionstagingyardassociatedwithanoilorgasfacility;
v.
Gaspipes)waterlines)orothergatheringsystemsandcomponentsincludingbutnotlimitedtodripstation,ventstation,chemicalinjectionstation.valveboxes,HeavyIndu§tzy:
ause
characteristicallyemployingsomeof,
but
not
limited
to
the
following:smokestacks,tanks,distillationorreactioncolumns,chemicalprocessingorstorage
equipment,
scrubbingtowers,waste-treatmentorstoragelagoons,reservepits,derricksorrigs,whethertemporaryorpermanent.Heavingindustryhasthepotentialforlarge-scaleenvirorunentalpollutionwhenequipmentmalfunctionorhumanerroroccurs.Examplesofheavyindustryinclude)but
are
notlimited
to:
chemicalmanufacturing,drillingofoiland
gas
wells,oilcoalmining,steelmanufacturing...Therefore)it
is
evidentthatdefendant
has)by
theenactment
of
theJune2011zoninglaw,effectivelybannedoilandgasdrillingwithinthegeographicalbordersofthetownship.Plaintiffhadpreviouslyexecutedtwo(2)oilandgasleaseswithElexcoLandServices,
Inc"
onFebruary22,2007,andMarch8,2007,withrespecttopropertyownedbyplaintiffsituateintheTownofMiddlefield
I
OtsegoCounty)NewYork.Plaintiffhasassertedthatthepurposeofsuch
leaseswill
befrustratedbytheenforcement
of
the
above-referenced
zoninglawasenactedinJune
2011by
thedefendantandseekstodeclaresuchlawvoid.(HuntingtonAffidavitdatedOctober26,2011,
mr
6-11)_
PlaintiffseeksreliefuponthegroundthatNewYorkStateEnvironmentalConservationLawPage
2
of11

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