A federal judge sitting in New York has dismissed on procedural grounds the challenge by drilling opponents to the DRBC's gas drilling rulemaking. The judge apparently dismissed the suit on standing and ripeness grounds and did not reach the merits of the plaintiffs' claims. Those claims asserted DRBC is a federal agency and must do a federal Environmental Impact Study (EIS) before adopting any drilling rules.
What does this mean? This kicks the heart of the matter down the road but does not dispose of it one way or another. Plaintiffs will be able to refile when and if regulations are finalized and applied.
As such, the court's decision today not to reach the merits of the claims may well add to delay and not shorten time needed for judicial process.