In July, Earthjustice obtained a temporary restraining order to block the test drilling. At the time, Justice Thomas Buchanan scheduled arguments for August 22 on whether the ban should remain in effect for the duration of a lawsuit filed against NYCO, the Adirondack Park Agency, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Earthjustice attorney Deborah Goldberg said the state attorney general’s office requested the postponement due to scheduling conflicts. Meantime, the ban against drilling has been extended until the October court hearing.
In the lawsuit, Goldberg contends that state officials ignored state laws–including the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan–when they authorized the drilling to go forward. At the October hearing, she will be seeking a preliminary injunction to keep the drilling ban in place until the suit is resolved.
Ordinarily, industrial activity would not be allowed in the forever-wild Forest Preserve. In November, however, voters approved an amendment to the state constitution authorizing the state to give Lot 8 to NYCO for land of equal or greater value. Before the swap is done, NYCO wants to drill to make sure there is enough wollastonite beneath the surface to warrant moving forward.
APA and DEC contend that the constitutional amendment supersedes other laws. Earthjustice insists that the agencies must still adhere to a number of laws and regulations.
Photo: Dan Plumley of Adirondack Wild on Lot 8.