|By Rusty Keeler; used with permission|
The petition is short and to the point. Weighing in at just under 100 words the frack-ban petition opens with residents expressing concern that high volume, slick-water hydro-fracking for gas extraction threatens their water and air. It continues, “Allowing this practice in our community will significantly endanger our health and well-being.”
After explaining how the heavily industrialized drilling practice has impacted communities in other states – snarling traffic, damaging roads and bridges, and hurting tourism, agriculture and hunting – the residents petition the Town Board to ban slick-water hydro-fracking in the Town of Dryden. You can read the whole thing here.
So far, DRAC members report that people are eager to sign the petition, and many residents are asking for more information about drilling and hydro-fracking.
Can towns ban fracking? Buffalo has. Now the move to ban fracking seems to be spreading across the state. Ulysses and Caroline, also in Tompkins County, are considering a frack ban. And earlier this month three towns in Otsego County – Middlefield, Otsego and Springfield – announced that they are moving to ban or restrict natural gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing.
While state environmental laws prohibit towns from regulating drilling and mining practices, they do allow towns to zone. And that, says McRae, is what towns are doing. Banning is not regulation, she says. It’s like zoning – you’re just keeping it out.
Recent articles in the New York Times about radioactivity found in Pennsylvania rivers caught people’s attention, said McRae. She’s hoping the increased awareness of potential drilling problems will translate into more support for the town’s frack ban.