The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY), a 77,000-member umbrella organization for New York landowners interested in leasing their property for natural gas drilling, announced yesterday they will move forward with a lawsuit against New York State on behalf of their members. The group has decided to litigate in light of the now expired Feb. 27 deadline to adopt new rules to allow high volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the state. MDN spoke to Dan Fitzsimmons, president of the JLCNY. He commented it took Illinois 14 months to research and write new legislation for fracking, and just 8 months for new rules to be researched and adopted in Ohio. New York’s rulemaking process has now languished for more than 4 1/2 years. Enough is enough.
Feeling they are left with no other alternative, the JLCNY will select several representative plaintiffs for the lawsuit that, presuming they win, would serve as a precedent for all landowners in the state to make the same claim. The basis of the lawsuit is a legal concept called “takings.” The U.S. and New York State Constitutions both say government cannot take a citizen’s private property or deny them use of their private property without just compensation. MDN previously interviewed JLCNY attorney Scott Kurkoski about the lawsuit a few weeks ago. Watch that interview here: 77K NY Landowners Prepare Lawsuit Against DEC.