Sunday, May 24, 2015

Anti-Fracking Law: Public Comments Move Amherst Town Board to Revise

Planning Board to review draft of anti-fracking law

The Town Board during its meeting on Monday directed the Planning Board to review a draft local law that would ban hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” in Amherst.

Fracking is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks and release the natural gas inside. People who oppose the practice believe it poses many dangers to the environment and could result in health risks to residents.

During a public comment period, Rita Yelda, a member of the community group Amherst Against Fracking, said the draft, created by the Town Attorney’s Office, lacks strength because it doesn’t cite the proper definitions of hydraulic fracturing.

Several residents following Yelda reiterated the importance of creating strong legislation that bans hydrofracking and its wastes in the Town of Amherst.

Following the comments from the public, Deputy Supervisor Guy Marlette said the reason it was put on the board’s meeting agenda was to allow the Town Board to review it first to vet any issues, such as the ones that were addressed by residents.

Following the Town Attorney’s Office working with the Planning Board to possibly amend the draft, a public hearing will be held to allow further community input on the revised version.

Marlette added that although it has been about 13 months since the Town Board directed the Town Attorney’s Office to draft a law banning fracking in the town, it was not an excessive time period.

“Our intent is to pass a law and have all of the definitions in place for a strong law,” Marlette said.

Read the full report at the Amherst Bee

For earlier reports on the dangers of fracking waste, Click Here.

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