A deadline for finalizing new regulations expired on Thursday, but the DEC sought a 90-day extension to allow a health impact study to be completed and issued revised regulations that will be open for public comment from Dec. 12 to Jan. 11.
Lenape's wells, drilled in sandstone deposits, aren't subject to the state's moratorium because they're vertically drilled and use low-volume fracking rather than the newer technologies necessary for shale gas development.
A Pittsburgh lawyer representing Lenape, Michael Joy, said papers filed with the lawsuit demonstrate that Avon officials weren't acting to prevent a problem caused by gas drilling but were bowing to political pressure from anti-drilling groups.
Local control over gas drilling has also been an issue in other states in the Marcellus Shale region, which includes southern New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. The gas industry says local laws create a patchwork of regulation that thwarts development.