ALBANY, N.Y. -- Two environmental groups are suing an upstate New York town for banning discussion of natural gas drilling and fracking at town board meetings.
A lawsuit filed Tuesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy claims the Broome County town of Sanford is violating residents' First Amendment rights to free speech.
The board in the small town about 100 miles southwest of Albany passed a resolution in September saying there had already been hours of public comment for and against gas drilling and that no further discussion would be allowed.
Residents have packed board meetings in Sanford and other upstate towns in recent months to debate gas drilling as Gov. Andrew Cuomo considers whether to lift a ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.