Starkey Citizens for a Clean & Healthy Environment
Erie County Bans Hydrofracking

The Erie County Legislature today banned high volume hydraulic fracturing on county land and imports of any drilling waste to its water treatment facilities.

The legislation passed 9-2.

The vote comes almost three years after Buffalo became the second city in the nation to ban the controversial gas drilling practice, also called “hydrofracking.”

On Dec. 3, the County Legislature received a petition with 3,845 signatures supporting the ban.

The legislation also includes a ban on importing drilling waste to county water treatment facilities and using the waste on county roads to melt snow and ice.

Hydrofracking is a practice that injects millions of gallons of water with sand and toxic chemicals thousands of feet underground to collect natural gas reserves in rock formations. New York has a moratorium on hydrofracking while the Health Department continues a review of potential health impacts that has lagged for years.

Some of the risks of hydrofracking include groundwater contamination, methane pollution, toxic chemical exposure and gas well blowouts. The water used for hydrofracking becomes a toxic brine that either has to be treated at great cost or injected back underground, which has been tied to causing earthquakes.

Hydrofracking supporters say there is plenty of evidence that hydrofracking can be done safely and the concerns have been overblown. Supporters also say hydrofracking is a job creator that boosts the economy.
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