ALBANY, N.Y.-- A third upstate New York town has won a court challenge to its ban on natural gas drilling.

Gas drilling company Lenape Resources had sued the Livingston County town of Avon and the state Department of Environmental Conservation over the town's moratorium on drilling, saying the action threatened to put it out of business after it had operated in the town for decades.

Lenape's owner, John Holko, also sought $50 million in damages.

On March 15, Acting Supreme Court Justice Robert Wiggins in Livingston County ruled against Lenape on all counts.

He cited Court of Appeals precedents as well as decisions in favor of local bans in the upstate towns of Dryden and Middlefield.

Appeals of the Dryden and Middlefield decisions will be argued in a state appeals court on Thursday.