Bob Downing

Last Friday, a second New York judge has upheld a town's ban on natural gas drilling.

The town of Middlefield's 2011 ban on gas drilling including hydraulic fracturing or fracking was upheld by State Supreme Court Judge Donald Cerio.

On Feb. 21, State Supreme Court Judge Phillip Rumsey had upheld the town of Dryden's ban on drilling. He was said was not preempted by state laws.

Officials in Middlefield are pleased that home rule was upheld, said town counsel David J. Clinton.

In 2010, New York imposed a moratorium on drilling into the Marcellus shale. The state is looking at lifting that moratorium, perhaps this summer.