This is the page we transcribe from CTPFL member Joe Hoff, who updates his list of Bans and Moratoria regularly. Below is his latest letter, followed by The List.
In a move that was applauded by local residents and environmental activists, the Putnam County Legislature voted unanimously to ban the sale, application and disposal of hydrofracking waste products in their county. The new law also bars the processing of fracking waste at Putnam’s wastewater treatment plants and applying fracking brine on county roads and properties for de-icing and dust control.
Has your county taken similar actions in protecting the agriculture, waters and citizenry. Westchester and Oneida have. What about your county’s legislature??
Joe Hoff, Chairman
Keuka Citizens Against Hydrofracking
MORATORIA, BANS, and RESOLUTIONS
As of March 6, 2013
New York, Pennsylvania and a Sampling of Municipalities and Key Organizations from Varied Locations Opposed to Hydrofrack Drilling
New York State
208 Communities Protected, (48 of these are in the NYC/Syracuse Watersheds), 92 Municipalities Staging for Passage of Draft Legislation – 300 Municipalities as of 4/6/13
2,365,000 New Yorkers Protected
- Denying the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens, in releasing the 1600+ page study conducted by his agency defended the report that may permit hydrofrack drilling in NYS. Exempted are the watershed areas of both New York City and the Syracuse regions (where a ban on drilling is in effect.) Intensive study of the report will be undertaken on the impact that hydrofracking will have when the report is released to the public. In a prepared statement, DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens said, “This report strikes the right balance between protecting our environment, watersheds, and drinking water and promoting economic development.”
- Those opposed to the practice argue that the recommendations allow the state to apply double standards to protecting drinking water supplies. Jack Ossont, spokesman for The Coalition to Protect New York, stated the following in response to the DEC report: “(The) announcement is premature and makes little sense. By proposing rules that prohibit hydraulic fracturing near drinking water for urban areas, the state recognizes the serious risks and pollution dangers caused by fracking. But by allowing it to take place in other areas, the state is condemning rural residents to the real risk of contaminated drinking water, industrial pollution and corporate control. If fracking is safe, why ban it in some areas? And if it’s dangerous, why allow it in others?
- During the open comment period over 60,000 responses to fracking were shared with the DEC. The tabulation responses were running at 10 to 1 against the practice.
- Two legislative bills on hydrofrack drilling were considered by the legislature. The Assembly passed an extension of the current moratorium through June of 2012. The Senate did not act on a parallel bill and the issue was closed for consideration.
- A Yates County resolution unanimously passed calls for similar protection to this Finger Lakes region for the treatment of their watershed as that in NYC and Syracuse watersheds.
- The Town of Jerusalem (Yates) enacted a zoning ordinance for their entire township which prohibits fracking and related industrialized activities. Their “ban” follows a one-year moratorium in which intensive study by a committee of volunteer citizens took place.
- The Village of Penn Yan by statute will not accept any hydrofracking wastewater for processing at the village wastewater treatment plant.
- Buffalo has banned hydrofrack drilling and wastewater disposal in their city.
- Lumberland and Tusten (Sullivan Co) have enacted zoning ordinances that ban or prohibit fracking in their communities. Their initial moratoria enabled them to research and analyze the most favorable manner to ban this practice.
- The Town of Ulysses clarified in zoning that gas drilling is one of the prohibited uses, as are many other uses. In their zoning ordinances, if an activity is not specifically mentioned as allowed, then it is prohibited. There are no heavy industrial zones in Ulysses.
- Broome County: Has a “de facto” people’s ban on hydrofracking on county lands. A former official’s attempts to pass a pro-drilling statute were twice rejected due to an overwhelming reaction from residents. Waste restrictions for fracking cuttings and flow back water have been established.
- Gorham in OntarioCounty enacted a moratorium ordinance.
- Cooperstown’s Chamber of Commerce has issued a position statement supporting a total ban on fracking due to the impact it will make on their watershed, farming and tourism.
- New York City has called on the US Congress to remove hydrofrack drilling’s exemption from the Safe Water Drinking Act.
- The Board of Trustees of Bassett Medical Center, based in Cooperstown, New York, views the issue of hydrofracking as a public health issue of the highest priority and resolves that the hydrofracking method of gas drilling constitutes an unacceptable threat to the health of patients, and should be prohibited until such time as it is proven to be safe. The Bassett Healthcare Network is responsible for the health care of a significant proportion of the population of eight counties in central New YorkState.
- Alfred in Allegany County has enacted a one-year moratorium. Following its neighbor’s lead, Almond, is preparing an ordinance for a one year moratorium as well.
- The Croton Watershed Clean Water Coalition, Inc. has sued the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in New York State Supreme Court to declare High Volume Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing in New York State Forests contrary to the New York State Constitution and applicable environmental laws.
- The Town of Wales adopted a community rights ordinance that bans “fracking.” The ordinance establishes a Bill of Rights for Wales’ residents and “recognizes and secures certain civil and political rights of the residents to govern themselves and protect themselves from harm to their persons, property and environment.”
- The exploration of land for natural gas by horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing is prohibited in the Town of Camillus.
- The city of Auburn rescinded their ban of natural gas-drilling wastewater from its treatment plant and is accepting water from fracked wells in Pennsylvania. Onondaga County’s ban remains in place.
- Damascus Citizens for Sustainability filed a lawsuit against the DRBC (NEPA EIS Cases v. DRBC & Other Federal Agencies (Federal Court) ) for failure to include an Environmental Impact Assessment as required by the National Environmental Policy Act before proposing gas drilling regulations for the watershed. The DCS lawsuit focused on the impacts on human health that should have been assessed before regulations were formulated. The DCS’ suit and Delaware Riverkeeper’s suit are now consolidated with the NY Attorney General’s suit.
- Ø The IthacaTown Board has amended the town's zoning law to become the first municipality in Tompkins County to ban gas drilling within its borders.
- Geneva has enacted a law banning fracking in heir municipality.
- Virgil banned drilling in much of its aquifer protection district.
- The Sullivan County Supreme Court has permanently enjoined Cabot Oil from “exploring, drilling, producing and marketing oil and natural gas and other hydrocarbons” within a residential subdivision in the Sullivan County town of Tusten. While this decision concerns home owner covenants rather than zoning, the underlying principal is the same- communities have the right to protect the health, safety and quality of life of their residents in the face of drilling practices such as hydrofracking despite the insistence by the drilling industry and some public officials that communities have no such rights.
- Niles in CayugaCounty has added their moratorium to the growing list in New YorkState.
- Jordan Elbridge inOnondagaCounty joined its neighbors and has a moratorium in place.
- Danby in TompkinsCounty passed unanimously their ban.
- Otisco has a moratorium in place and extended its duration in January 2013..
- More than 250 pediatricians, family practitioners, otolaryngologists, endocrinologists, oncologists and other doctors, along with the medical societies of at least seven upstate counties and the regional office of the American Academy of Pediatricians, wrote to Governor Cuomo warning that the state has failed to analyze public health impacts of HVHF in its rush to approve permits for drilling. “We are greatly concerned about the omission of a critical issue related to the development of natural gas using high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking: human health impacts” they wrote. Noting that HVHF will likely increase health care costs, as well as mitigating water and air pollution, the medical authorities called on the governor to immediately request an independent school of public health to conduct a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) since the state’s Department of Health has said it is unwilling to do so.
- Plainfield has a ban in place.
- Cortlandville has a moratorium in effect.
- The Town of Middlesex Board has implemented a year-long moratorium.
- The Town of Onondaga in OnondagaCounty has enacted a moratorium.
- The Albany Common Council has voted to pass the banning of hydrofracking in the city yet the mayor vetoed the citywide ban. Observers await the next steps.
- The Town of Richmondville in SchoharieCounty has officially moved to pass a ban using local zoning. They have a moratorium in place.
- The NaplesVillage Board passed a moratorium keeping hydrofracking out of the village for one year.
- The Yates County Farm Bureau recently took a stand in favor of conventional gas drilling, but is opposed to HVHF in gas exploration until it can be done safely.
- Syracuse lawmakers voted unanimously to ban natural gas drilling. Syracuse thus joins Buffalo among major Upstate cities to ban hydrofracking. The new law also prohibits storage of fracking fluids within the city limits, as well as city-owned lands outside of Syracuse.
- The Town Board of the Town of Canandaiguacalled on Governor Cuomo and Legislature of New York State to apply the same standards of prohibiting high volume hydraulic fracturing to the Canandaigua Lake watershed and all the Finger Lakes watersheds that the DEC has indicated it will apply to the New York City and Syracuse watersheds.
- The town of Summerhill, CayugaCounty, approved a ban on gas drilling. Rather than prohibit hydrofracking through zoning, the law indicates that “the town can use its police power and its power to prohibit public nuisance to protect the health, safety and welfare of the current and future residents of the town.” It is reported that the town used this option because it does not have a comprehensive plan or zoning code.
- The Board of Directors of the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association has voted unanimously to oppose hydraulic fracturing drilling for natural gas in the watershed.
- The Delaware River Basin Commission decided to postpone a vote on whether to finally release new drilling rules for land inside of the DRBC’s jurisdiction. The dominoes began to fall when Governor Jack Markell announced that Delaware would vote against the plan to allow gas development to commence in the Delaware River Watershed. New York had earlier stated that they were voting “NO” on the proposal. Apparently, the Commission did not feel they had the three votes needed to move the proposal forward. The Delaware River Basin Commission is composed of the Governors of the four states that drain to the Delaware River, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware and a federal representative, the Army Corps of Engineers for the Obama Administration.
- The Canandaigua Town Board passed an 18 month moratorium banning natural gas and petroleum activities including high volume hydraulic fracturing. Canandaigua City has a similar ordinance.
- Movements toward moratoria/bans are underway in Afton, Arcade, Barker, Bath, Binghamton (Town), Big Flats, Brookfield, Burlington, Canadice, Carlisle, Canajoharie, Canaseraga, Chatham, Chemung, Chester, Cobbleskill, Cohecton, Colden, Columbus, Corning, Coventry, Croton, Dansville, DeRuyter, Dolgeville, Ephrata, Fairport, Fort Plain, Fremont, Fulton, Groton, Guilford, Hammondsport, Hartwick, Hector, Homer, Hillsdale, Horseheads, Italy, Laurens, Lisle, Lumberland, McDonough, Macedon, Maine, Marbletown, Masonville, Maryland (Otsego County), Middleburgh, Minden, Monroe, Morris, New Berlin, Newark Valley, Norwich, Otselic, Palatine, Pittsfield, Pittsford, Plymouth, Preston, Pulteney, Salisbury, Sandford, Saugerties, Sempronius (seeking dual protection), Seward, Skaneateles City, Smithville, Spencer, Sullivan, Summit, Taghkanic, Tioga, Triangle, Unadilla, Urbana, Union, Van Etten, Vestal, Vienna, Wayland, Windsor, Webster, Westford, West Sparta, Wright and York.
- Tompkins County has enacted a ban on fracking on county land. They also passed a law requiring any company involving “high-frequency, high impact truck traffic” to obtain a permit and pay for any road damage. They have passed resolutions banning fracking in the county and Finger Lakes region and endorsing home rule authority regarding local land use and gas drilling.
- Livingston County municipalities (and communities in adjoining counties) aretaking hold of the momentum that is building in upstate New York and the Finger Lakes region. Avon, Bristol, Conesus, Lima, Livonia, Mount Morris, North Dansville, Geneseo, Nunda, Richmond, South Dansville, Sparta, Springwater and South Bristol have approved moratoria.
- Germantownhas enacted a moratorium.
- New Lisbon has instituted a prohibition against fracking and heavy industry.
- Residents in Hector expressed overwhelming support through a petition campaign for a moratorium against fracking in their municipality. Despite strong public support of a moratorium, the Town Board has adamantly refused its consideration.
- Binghamton has approved a two year moratorium to protect the health, welfare and safety of its residents against fracking.
- Brighton became the first town in Monroe County to approve a moratorium (they subsequently adopted a ban in 1/13.) The moratorium gave the town a window in which it prohibits hydrofracking for a short period while it considers changes in town zoning rules that could ban it completely. Mendon is the second municipality in MonroeCounty to do so.
- Just prior to the January 11, 2012 deadline for public feedback of hydraulic fracking in New York, a bevy of bakers, chefs and restaurateurs (Chefs for Marcellus) formed a coalition to raise awareness about the threat they say the natural gas drilling technique poses to one of New York’s most cherished institutions: its stomach. Many restaurants source their ingredients from farms in areas on or near the Marcellus Shale, leading the chefs to fear that the groundwater could become contaminated if fracking is allowed in New York.
- Among the numerous concerns stated in the fall Newsletter of NYSAWWA (an association of drinking water professionals) was their assessment that “… the NYSDEC does not have the regulatory capacity to adequately enforce requirements; evaluate applications and make the necessary decisions needed to carry out specific mitigation measures as proposed; and conduct field oversight.” This point echoes the feelings expressed “off the record” by officials of the DEC who have said that they are woefully unprepared to oversee the process.
- Oneida County approaches unanimity in their resolve and actions to prohibit fracking with 24 of 26 towns under the protective umbrella of bans or moratoria. Augusta, New Hartford and Rome lead the way with a ban in place. Moratoria exist in Annsville, Ava, Boonville, Camden, Clinton, Deerfield, Florence, Floyd, Forestport, Kirkland, Marshall, Paris, Remsen, Sangerfield, Steuben, Trenton, Utica, Vernon, Verona, Westmoreland and Whitestown.
- Rensselaerville and Berne in AlbanyCounty have moratoria in place.
- Torrey in YatesCounty enacted a year-long moratorium.
- Wayne Bayer, a shop steward for the Public Employees Federation, said the union supports a moratorium on hydrofracking because of the agency’s dwindling staff level. The agency has lost more than 800 full-time employees since 2008 because of budget cutbacks. PEF represents about 1,700 scientific and technical workers at the DEC. “(The union) continues to support a moratorium on high-volume hydrofracking, because the existing staff shortages do not support this labor-intensive mission,” Bayer told a panel of lawmakers. Currently, the agency has 16 gas-drilling regulators. The DEC had previously estimated it would need 140 additional workers the first year it issues permits for high-volume hydrofracking. That estimate is based on 75 wells, the gas industry’s best guess for how quickly it would ramp up production in New York the first year the state gives hydrofracking the green light.
- Ø The Moravia Town board enacted a moratorium ordinance prohibiting hydrofracking.
- State Supreme Court Justice Donald F. Cerio Jr. upheld the Otsego County town of Middlefield‘s zoning ordinance that outlawed gas drilling, including the controversial practice of hydrofracking. A similar ruling in favor of the town of Dryden was also registered. Cerio’s decision, like the one in the Dryden case, says that state law regulating gas drilling does not take away a town’s right to enact zoning. Because the members of the town boards in Dryden and Middlefield were willing to exercise their right to protect their citizens and stood firm in their convictions, there now are definitive answers from two separate courts that clearly support local community rights. When asked about municipalities’ rights to enact bans against gas drilling, Governor Cuomo said… “I believe that it’s up to the courts. And if the courts say they have that right, they have the right.”
- Manheim in HerkimerCounty has enacted a moratorium.
- St. Johnsville in the MohawkValley, the geographic center of NYS, became the 80th municipality to enact a ban or moratorium. (Both the Village and Town have done so.)
- Townships protected under the New York City watershed provision (west of Hudson) include… Andes* (dual protection), Ashland, Bovina, Conesville, Delhi, Denning, Halcott, Hamden, Hardenburg, Hunter, Jewitt, Lexington, Middletown, Neversink, Olive*, Prattsville, Roxbury, Shandaken, Stamford, Tompkins, Walton, and Windham. Portions of these towns fall within this umbrella… Deposit, Fallsburg, Franklin, Gilboa, Harpersfield, Hurley, Jefferson, Kingston, Kortright, Liberty, Masonville, Meredith, Rochester* (Hudson Valley), Sidney*, Warwarsing, and Woodstock*(dual protection ban as well.) It is interesting to note that a number of these towns have sought and enacted the additional protection of moratoria and bans in addition to the NYC provision.
- Townships protected under the Syracuse watershed provision include… Marcellus (ban in place)*, Niles*, Skaneateles* (Ban/Town), Sempronius, Scott and Spafford*. (*Dual Protection.)
- Townships protected under the New York City Croton Watershed provision include… Bedford, Carmel, Kent, Lewisboro, New Castle, North Salem, Patterson, Somers, Southeast, Pound Ridge and Yorktown.
- Starkey adds its name to the moratoria roster.
- Niagara Falls passed a city-wide ban on fracking and wastewater. They also passed a resolution to Governor Cuomo stating fracking should be banned in all of NYS. Millions of gallons of downstream waters are now safeguarded.
- The BuffaloCommon Council called for a state ban on hydraulic fracturing. By a unanimous vote, city lawmakers urged Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state lawmakers to enact a prohibition “due to possible dangers and environmental impacts of such operations.” In February 2011, the Council voted to ban any kind of natural gas extraction, including hydraulic fracturing, in the city.
- Bristol has enacted a moratorium.
- In reversing the position of a former Board, the Town of Caroline has enacted a 12 month moratorium.
- The Town of Oneonta enacted a moratorium. The City of Oneonta has had a ban against drilling in place.
- Honeoye has enacted a moratorium.
- Little Falls, Manchester, and Oppenheim add their names to municipalities with a 12 month moratorium in place.
- Rush became the third municipality in MonroeCounty to enact a moratorium.
- Add North Dansville and Lincoln to the one-year moratoria roster. Lincoln is the first community in MadisonCounty to enact a moratorium.
- Olive in UlsterCounty in seeking double protection has enacted a ban. A number of municipalities such as Olive are exempt as they are in the New York City watershed but have resolved to enact an ordinance giving them dual protection.
- The town board in Lincoln unanimously adopted a moratorium banning high-volume hydrofracking Wednesday evening, making it the first town in MadisonCounty to prohibit the controversial drilling practice.
- The county seat, Schoharie, in SchoharieCounty has enacted a moratorium.
- “Banning fracking from the City of Albany and drilling wastes from our local treatment and disposal facilities is more than just a symbolic act — we are already finding the hazardous by-products of fracking discarded well outside the current zone of drilling, with little State oversight or concern,” said Roger Downs, Conservation Director for the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter. “We applaud the Albany Common Council for filling the leadership void on industrial gas development. Governor Cuomo has offered only the assurances of a half-baked regulatory program to New Yorkers who stand to lose everything to this out-of-control industry. We hope this stand in Albany does not go unnoticed.”
- Add Scipio and Butternuts to the moratoria cluster.
- Bethelwith a newly instituted ban and Waterloo with their moratorium join those communities in the protected category.
- The Town of Skaneatelesused their previously enacted moratorium period to assess, study and ultimately craft ordinances to prohibit hydrofrack drilling in their municipality. They follow the pattern of responsible study and decision-making that protects citizens and watershed area used by scores of responsible leaders in New YorkState.
- Genoa, Lansing, and Locke have enacted moratoria.
- Beacon has banned hydrofrack drilling and natural gas drilling waste water.
- Kudos go to Ledyard and Moravia (both town and village) for enacting moratoria.
- Enfield enacted a year-long moratorium to give the Town of Enfield time to shore up its legal and legislative protections against fracking.
- Rochester(MonroeCounty) became the last major city in upstate New York to enact a year-long moratorium. The City Council vote was unanimous.
- National Casualty (Insurance) Company, part of the Nationwide (“…is on your side”) group of insurance companies with over $12 billion in assets, announces Hydraulic Fracturing Operations Prohibited: “After months of research and discussion, we have determined that the exposures presented by hydraulic fracturing are too great to ignore. Risks involved with hydraulic fracturing are now prohibited for General Liability, Commercial Auto, Motor Truck Cargo, Auto Physical Damage and Public Auto (insurance) coverage. (We will) not bind risks with this exposure, and any policies currently written with this exposure (will) be non-renewed (following state requirements). Prohibited risks involved in fracking operations include, but are not limited to: Contractors involved in fracking operations; landowners whose land has been leased to lessees with fracking operations; Frack sand and frack liquid haulers; Water haulers – clean water, salt water or sludge; Hotshots – including hauling pipe/equipment, parts, site prep (dump trucks, bulldozers)or leasing of tanks; Oilfield support operations – hauling of pipe, lumber or equipment; Oilfield support operations –tankers, over the hole or non owned trailers.”
- The Town of Highland (Sullivan Co) used their moratorium to rewrite their Comprehensive Management Plan to explicitly prohibit heavy industrial uses and adopt a zoning ordinance. They now have a ban.
- Guilderland’s board passed a law banning fracking and anything to do with related exploration, transport of waste, and use of water.
- Spafford in OnondagaCounty enacted a ban.
- Newfield has a moratorium and Andeshas extended their moratorium as they work toward a ban.
- Joining the listing are Hopewell and West Bloomfield who enacted moratoria.
- Woodstock has banned all oil and gas exploration.
- Caledoniahas enacted a moratorium and Perinton stands ready to enact a prohibition against fracking through zoning ordinances following their public hearing in August.
- Owego has enacted a moratorium and Wilson has enacted a ban.
- Sennett in CayugaCounty has enacted a moratorium.
- Augusta, Chenango, Fulton and Trumansberg have recently enacted bans.
- Lafayette, Lenox, Newport and Sennett have enacted moratoria.
- Ulster County has enacted a new law that will ban the use of fracking brine on all county-owned property. Oneida County has done the same.
- TheTown of Rochester in the HudsonValley has enacted a ban.
- Ø Perinton enacted zoning ordinances prohibiting hydrofrack drilling within the township. They became the first municipality to do so in Monroe County. Also enacted were ordinances prohibiting drill cuttings and leachate from being deposited in the landfill located within its borders. The town did so without a moratorium by concentrating on existing and new zoning laws.
- Ø Penfield enacted a moratorium.
- Ø Carolinehas enacted a ban prohibiting unconventional gas drilling and associated high-impact industrial activities.
- Ø Sharon Springs in Schoharie County has enacted effective prohibitions as well.
- Ø Copake, Fabius, Oxford, Portage and Stafford have enacted moratoria.
- Yorkshire in CattaraugusCounty has enacted a moratorium.
- Dutchess, Nassau, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Suffolk, Sullivan, Tompkins, Ulster and Westchester Counties have either enacted bans on fracking and/or related activities on county owned lands. Albany, and Putnam Counties are in the final stages of enacting similar prohibitions. Yates has passed two resolutions calling for parity with the NYC and Syracuse protected watersheds.
- Municipalities and environmental groups are enlisting each other in the quest to put together a large patchwork of drilling bans across the Northeast. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) launched a “Community Fracking Defense Project” in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and North Carolina (Energy Wire, Sept. 20). The organization provides legal and policy advice to opponents of gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing who say the risks to local air and water outweigh the economic benefits.
- KWIC (Keuka Watershed Improvement Cooperative) issued a request to Governor Cuomo and the NYDEC calling for equity with the protected Syracuse and New York City watersheds. The organization is comprised of the top elected officials in each township surrounding Keuka Lake. KWIC joins several homeowners associations and the Yates County Legislature which have issued resolutions calling for parity with Syracuse and NYC.
- Penn Yan became the latest town in the Keuka Lake watershed to enact a moratorium.
- The Town of Onondaga passed a ban on fracking with a unanimous vote.
- Blenheim has enacted a moratorium.
- The Town of Huron has passed the first moratorium in WayneCounty.
- The Westchester County Board of Legislators unanimously voted to prohibit the sale, application and disposal of waste products from natural gas drilling anywhere in the county. The new law, which applies to all wastewater treatment plants and all roads within the county, bans the sale of fracking waste, the processing of fracking waste at wastewater treatment plants, and the spreading of fracking wastewater on roads including applications for de-icing and dust control purposes.
- A coalition of seven eastern states led by New York plans to sue
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to issue
new guidelines to curb methane emissions, a greenhouse gas that
may be linked to climate change. The seven states threatening litigation, which included Connecticut and Delaware, were among those that were most
affected by super storm Sandy, which has renewed debate over the
impact of climate change. The other states in the coalition
include Maryland, Rhode Island, Vermont and Massachusetts. In
their letter, the states said recent dramatic weather patterns
were linked to methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.
- The Town of Roseboom in OtsegoCounty has passed a ban on heavy industrial uses, including fracking.
- Warwarsing has enacted a ban and in voting unanimously to do so became the 200thNew YorkState community on this roster to enact legislation protecting the health, welfare and safety of their residents.
- In addition to having protection in the Syracuse watershed, Marcellus has also enacted a ban.
- Milford has enacted a ban in a unanimous vote of their town board.
- (NEW YORK TIMES report…) OTTAWA, Canada — “The development of Alberta’s oil sands has increased levels of cancer-causing compounds in surrounding lakes well beyond natural levels, Canadian researchers reported in a recent study. And they said the contamination covered a wider area than had previously been believed.” Today, the average U.S. citizen has 700 toxic chemicals in her/his body. At the turn of the 20th century, cancer was 1 in 40 in humans in the North America. Today, cancer is 1 in 2 in humans. The one consistent factor during this period in human history is the government regulation of all the mining industries, including, but not limited to “big oil.” Scientific studies continue to reveal the environmental and health impacts that occur during the drilling and fracking processes that release toxic chemicals into our environment.”
- Not content to just ban “fracking” for natural gas, Woodstock’s town board has voted to petition New YorkState to make hydraulic fracturing a criminal offense. The Woodstock town board voted to adopt the resolution in support of statewide criminalization. The municipality had previously adopted a ban on gas drilling, modeled after similar bans in other New York State towns, in August of 2012.
- Based on intensive study during their moratorium period and following a growing trend that recognizes the deleterious effects of the process and related activities, New Paltz has banned hydrofracking, banned the use of hydrofrack wastewater brine on town roads, and banned hydrofracking waste in their sewage system.
- This comprehensive theme is noted in Brighton as the town board voted unanimously to enact a ban that would prohibit hydraulic fracturing and associated activities within the town. The ban is entitled, Brighton Local Law No. 1 of the year 2013, “Prohibition within the Town of Brighton of Natural Gas and Petroleum Exploration and Extraction Activities, the Underground Storage of Natural Gas, and the Disposal of Natural Gas or Petroleum Extraction, Exploration, and Production Wastes.”
- Cheers to the Town of Huron for passing the first hydrofracking moratorium in WayneCounty.
- Andesnow has dual protection. Following a trend of towns within a state protected watershed, Andes has enacted a ban of HVHF.
- The Olive Town Board unanimously passed a law prohibiting HVHF and all supporting activities including the use of gas brine on roads.
- Ø The use of gas well brine on roads was banned in Oneida County.
- The ButternutsTown board voted to extend their moratorium on heavy industry for another 9 months.
- Paris’ Town Board unanimously prohibited shale gas exploration and extraction.
- Despite threatened law suits, the OtegoTown Board has approved a one year moratorium on gas drilling in the Town. The Board voted to approve the moratorium, to over-ride a landowners’ protest petition that had been submitted at their first public hearing last fall. The Town’s zoning law already prohibits heavy industry from the town; the moratorium will give the Planning Board time to complete its update of the Town’s Comprehensive Plan in preparation for amendments to the zoning law.
- Oxford has enacted a ban. This mile-square village in New York‘s Southern Tier became the first municipality in ChenangoCounty to be free from hydraulic fracturing.
- The Town of Sidney has passed a moratorium.
- Mendon passed a 1 yr. extension to their existing moratorium on hydrofracking.
- Rosendale in UlsterCounty has enacted a ban.
- Sidneyhas enacted a moratorium. They now have dual protection (within the NYC watershed.)
- Two new zoning laws were passed in Warwick. Ordinance now prohibits brine from fracking waste to be used on town roads and heavy industry, specifically natural gas exploration and extraction, is deemed incompatible with the Warwick Comprehensive Plan and is prohibited.
- Waynehas extended its moratorium for 9 months in order to continue study of the issue.
- In a move that was applauded by local residents and environmental activists, the Putnam County Legislature voted unanimously to ban the sale, application and disposal of hydrofracking waste products in their county. The new law also bars the processing of fracking waste at Putnam’s wastewater treatment plants and applying fracking brine on county roads and properties for de-icing and dust control.
- The Town of Oneonta extended their moratorium for twelve months.
Ø A consortium of interested citizens is planning for a unified moratorium and eventual ban of hydrofrack drilling in the entire Keuka Lake watershed region. To date the towns of Barrington, Benton, Milo, Penn Yan and Wayne have adopted moratoria ordinances. Urbana and Hammondsport have legislation in place that will be enacted if and when NYS should lift the moratorium on fracking. Following an eleven month review process in which a moratorium had been in effect, Jerusalem has enacted zoning ordinances which effectively bans fracking from their township. Eight of the nine towns in the Keuka Lake watershed are under the protection of zoning prohibitions, moratoria and/or bans.
Ø Dewitt, Tully and Marcellus have enacted moratoria laws. Skaneateles has enacted a ban.
Ø All towns that ring Cooperstown's reservoir, Otsego Lake are headed for protection with Otsego, Cherry Valley and Middlefield having banned heavy industry including gas drilling. The State Supreme Court has upheld Middlefield’s right to do so.
Ø Springfieldhas adopted local laws prohibiting heavy industry, including gas drilling.
Ø The Medical Society of the State of New York has gone on record supporting a moratorium on gas drilling using high volume hydraulic fracturing.
Ø Lebanon town board members adopted a memorializing resolution that calls on the New York State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo to repeal and reform compulsory integration laws in the State of New York that currently govern natural gas development.
Ø A petition drive resulted in the Dryden Town Board unanimously passing a resolution to ban fracking. A Denver-based natural-gas company Anschutz Exploration Corp. has filed the first lawsuit against a local drilling ban in New York. The State Supreme Court in Tompkins County has upheld Dryden's ban.
Ø The Common Council of Oneonta City voted to ban all forms of natural gas drilling in city limits.
- Pittsburgh adopts the first-in-the-nation community rights ordinance which elevates the right of the community to decide, and the rights of nature over the “rights” associated with corporate personhood. The City Council unanimously adopted this ordinance banning corporations from conducting natural gas drilling in the city.
- LuzerneCountyLehman Township, ordinance calling for “home rule” and a ban on drilling within their surrounding township area.
- The Board of Supervisors for Licking Township, Clarion County, PA, voted unanimously on Wednesday to adopt an ordinance banning corporations from dumping “fracking” wastewater in the township. The Licking Township Community Water Rights and Self-Government Ordinance is the first ordinance of its kind adopted in Pennsylvania to confront the threat of Marcellus Shale drilling.
- Cresson has enacted legislation banning fracking.
- Washington Township has banned fracking.
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania City Council unanimously passed the pro-moratorium Resolution on Marcellus Shale Drilling Environmental and Economic Impacts.
- The Borough Council of West Homestead, Pennsylvania, unanimously adopted an ordinance that enacts a Local Bill of Rights, along with a prohibition on natural gas extraction to protect those rights. The bill, titled “West Homestead Borough’s Community Protection from Natural Gas Extraction Ordinance; establishes specific rights of West Homestead residents, including the Right to Water, the Rights of Natural Communities, the Right to a Sustainable Energy Future, and the Right to Community Self-Government.
- Philadelphia refuses to purchase Marcellus Shale gas as the dumping of flow back waters is polluting their water supply.
- Collier Township upgraded its natural gas drilling ordinance to enhance their Marcellus Shale ordinance that would push drillers farther away from schools and provide baseline measurements for noise levels at drilling sites.
- A statewide interfaith organization has introduced questions of morality and climate change into the debate about Marcellus Shale gas well development. Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light will issue a four-page “ethical analysis” that declares its opposition to development of the deep and massive shale gas play because it is not part of a strategy to end fossil fuel use, creates too many environmental and health risks, and perpetuates the “boom and bust” cycles of other, earlier extractive industries in the state.
- Forest Hills Council unanimously passed an ordinance banning natural gas drilling in the borough.
- Philadelphia’s City Council unanimously passed a resolution to sue the Delaware River Basin Commission, demanding cumulative impacts of high-volume hydraulic fracturing be studied, essentially forbidding fracking. All seventeen members of the council voted in favor of a resolution which joins the City of Philadelphia as a Friend of the Court, together with lawsuits already filed by the Attorney General of the State of New York, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and other parties, in suing the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC). Philadelphia is joining these lawsuits to require, according to the resolution “that no drilling of Marcellus Shale take place until a full environmental analysis is completed.”
Ø United Methodists representing 950 churches across central and Northeast Pennsylvania passed a resolution calling for a temporary halt in gas well drilling in the Marcellus Shale as well as an impact tax on those places where drilling already has taken hold.
Ø Religious groups such as the Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia have advocated against fracking and in April, 2011, America, the national magazine of the Jesuits editorialized very critically about the process.
Ø Baldwin Borough Council adopted a community rights ordinance that bans the corporate extraction of natural gas.
Ø Wilkinsburg Borough Council unanimously adopted a community rights ordinance that bans gas drilling.
Ø In PetersTownship, a community whose rolling hills are dotted with newly built homes, small farms and two country clubs, residents will vote this fall on a local bill of rights that would ban gas extraction, a move proponents say is necessary to guarantee residents the right to clean water and air.
- A class-action lawsuit has been filed against companies that drill for natural gas in central Arkansas. The suit is asking for millions of dollars in relation to the earthquakes associated with the fracking process the companies use. The damages enumerated in the suit are property damage, loss of fair market value in real estate, emotional distress, and damages related to the purchase of earthquake insurance.
- Erie trustees unanimously voted to craft an emergency ordinance to temporarily ban new gas drilling permits from being filed with the town. If it passes in mid-March, Erie would join Commerce Cityand Boulder County in imposing moratoria on new drilling operations.
- Voters in the northern Colorado city of Longmont decisively approved the city’s home rule charter to prohibit fracking in the city of roughly 86,000 residents. Also prohibited is the disposal of solid or liquid wastes created in connection with the hydraulic fracturing process in open pits, including but not limited to flowback or produced wastewater and brine. In succeeding in getting the fracking ban approved, the grass-roots effort overcame staggering odds with the national and state oil and gas industry trade groups and companies outspending them during the campaign nearly 30-to-1, according to the latest city campaign finance reports. “Our message has really been health and the quality of life in this community,” spokesperson Michael Bellmont said, “and the quality and the health of the community are not for sale.”
- The first community in Maryland, Mountain Lake Park, adopted an ordinance banning corporations from natural gas drilling.
- Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler has sent a letter to Chesapeake Energy Corporation and its affiliates, notifying the companies of the State of Maryland’s intent to sue for violating the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA).
- Governor Martin O’Malleyhas signed an executive order for a three year moratorium on drilling in MD while studies continue.
- The City of Detroit and County of Wayne have passed resolutions banning fracking. They are the first in the state to do so.
- The Michigan Board of Canvassers approved wording on a citizen initiative for a state constitutional amendment to ban horizontal fracking and storage of residual frack fluids in the state.
- Using direct democracy, the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan is gathering voters’ signatures to place a proposed constitutional amendment on a statewide ballot. This initiative is in response to the legislature’s refusal to limit hydraulic fracturing.
- The New Jersey Assembly voted to ban hydraulic fracturing in NJ in a bipartisan overwhelming vote (58 to 11, 8 abstained), following the landslide vote 32-1 earlier in the day by the NJ Senate. New Jersey is the first state legislature to ban fracking. However, Gov. Chris Christie has recommended a one-year ban on a natural gas drilling disappointing citizens who wanted a permanent ban.
- In a move that may be more symbolic than substantive, a legislative committee yesterday voted to prohibit New Jersey’s sewage treatment plants from accepting wastewater from operations drilling for natural gas in Marcellus Shale deposits in Pennsylvania and other states. The legislation, narrowly approved by the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee, is unlikely to win final legislative approval in the lame duck session, but both proponents of the bill and foes agreed it would send a signal that New Jersey steadfastly opposes the controversial method of extracting natural gas.
- The City of Las Vegas, New Mexico, city council enacted a community Bill of Rights. It is known as the “Las Vegas Community Protective Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance.” This ordinance establishes a new system of law–giving rights to citizens and nature. This community rights ordinance is the first rights-based ordinance to pass in the southwest. Of particular note are these provisions… “The ordinance includes a section that grants ‘inalienable and fundamental rights to exist’ to ecosystems and ‘natural communities’ like wetlands, streams, rivers and aquifers. The ordinance also states that corporations violating the ordinance ‘shall not have the rights of persons’ afforded by the U.S. or New Mexico constitutions, that it supersedes state or federal permits or licenses and that state and federal law can’t be used to preempt or challenge the local measure.”
- North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue vetoed legislation that would have lifted a ban on hydraulic fracturing and opened the door to shale gas exploration in that state. Perdue said that a measure approved by the legislature in June to permit the practices would not ensure adequate environmental protections. It’s the second time in as many years the governor has put the brakes on efforts to push fracking and shale gas exploration in North Carolina, where it is currently not permitted. The legislature passed the permission for fracking over the governor’s veto.
- The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa’s Tribal Council has banned hydrofrack drilling for gas and oil on tribal lands. A spokesperson indicated that they are not ready to sacrifice their waters for a promise of jobs and revenue.
- The State of Ohio has banned drilling under Lake Erie through Executive Order.
- Yellow Springs bans drilling via citizens-rights-based initiative.
- Broadview Heights passed a ballot initiative banning fracking via a citizens-rights based initiative
- Mansfieldthrough aballot initiative has banned injection wells.
- Meyers Lake bans drilling through standard regulatory measures.
- Cincinnati has enacted a ban on injection wells via zoning change.
- WellsburgCity Council approved an ordinance prohibiting natural gas drilling in or within one mile of the city as concerns mounted about the city’s water being contaminated by procedures in hydrofrack drilling. A reservoir serving the city is beside property that Chesapeake Energy is leasing for drilling.
- Texas Gov. Rick Perry has signed a bill requiring drillers to publicly disclose the chemicals they use when extracting oil and gas from dense rock formations, the first state to pass such a law.
- Denton CityCouncil enacted a 120 day moratorium against fracking and denying any new gas drilling permits.
- Dish town leaders commissioned an ambient air quality study focusing on a complex of natural gas compression facilities on the edge of town and found a host of toxic substances at troubling levels. State environmental officials followed that study with a broader look at a variety of production equipment in the Barnett Shale and found many of the same toxic substances. Chemist Wilma Subra, together with the Oil and Gas Accountability Project and its Texas chapter, followed Dish’s air quality study with a survey that showed many of the health symptoms residents were experiencing could be associated with exposure to toxic substances. The town subsequently enacted a moratorium on gas drilling.
- Grand Prairieapproved a moratorium on gas drilling permits.
- Bartonville has enacted a moratorium on new drilling permis of hydraulic fracture and all gas drilling. Flower Mound has extended their moratorium.
- Dallas has limited the permitting process as well.
- The Vermont House of Representatives voted to give final passage to legislation that will make Vermont the first state in the nation to ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. “The Vermont Legislature deserves tremendous praise for having the courage to stand up to all of the lobbying, the full page ads and the legal threats of the oil and gas industry,” said Paul Burns, executive director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group. “This is a shot that will be heard, if not around the world then at least around the country.”
- George Washington National Forest has disallowed horizontal drilling for natural gas within its 1.1 million acres of territory while opening up segments of the forest to the potential for wind energy construction.
- Wellsville has banned fracking.
- Lewisburg has banned fracking within their city limits.
- Morgantownbanned fracking in the city and within one mile of the city limits as well. Morgantown is keeping a municipal ban on Marcellus Shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing on the books even though a judge has declared it unconstitutional and unenforceable. The City Council has rejected a motion to rescind the ban for the second time in two months.
British Columbia, Canada
- First Nations people in NW British Columbia enacted a four year moratorium against drilling for natural gas by Royal Dutch Shell in the Sacred Headwaters. Members of the Tahltan First Nation are blockading Shell’s coal bed methane project in the Sacred Headwaters, the birthplace of the Skeena, Nass and StikineRivers.
New Brunswick, Canada
- Ø Doaktown Village Council voted to ban natural shale gas hydrofrack drilling. Following determination of the parameters of the aquifers: the Village asked the Province to ban any and all exploration for natural gas, or extraction within or near those well field areas.”
- Throughout New Brunswick, fracking has become a hot-button issue, complete with high-profile protests, petitions and government pledges to introduce tougher environmental legislation.
Nova Scotia, Canada
- The Nova Scotia government is putting a two-year hold on hydraulic fracturing, saying it needs more time to study a controversial oil and gas industry practice that has raised concerns about contamination of drinking water
- The Niagara-on-the-Lake town council unanimously passed a resolution calling for a province and nation-wide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and on the treatment of the wastewater by-products of hydraulic fracturing within the Great LakesBasin. The resolution calls for a dialogue between US, Canadian, and Indigenous governments on the “full consideration of the human and environmental impacts” of fracking and treating fracking wastewater in the Great Lakes.
- The Quebec government is putting the brakes on shale-gas drilling and exploration through a province-wide moratorium. “There will be no compromises on health and the environment,” the minister said. Premier Jean Charest has said the development of a shale-gas industry must be done “correctly” or it will not be done at all. The province of Quebec has moved from a de facto ban on shale gas development to a “complete and total moratorium,” A committee named by Quebec Environment Minister Pierre Arcand to determine whether shale gas can be extracted while respecting the environment, released plans for further study and recommended the minister not authorize hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, even for research purposes during an ongoing halt in development.
- The Australian government will introduce new laws for assessing unconventional gas impacts, and Australian coal seam gas (CSG) company, Metgasco announced it is suspending all exploration and production in the northern rivers area. They cited regulatory uncertainty and blamed the State government’s recent 2 kilometre CSG exclusion zone for residential areas and agricultural infrastructure. The action and reaction showed the benefit of having a well informed and empowered public. It demonstrated the real need for NGOs working in toxics to help inform and educate local communities facing the threat of unconventional gas activities.
- The two governing mayors of the towns Herrnbaumgarten and Poysdorf announced that they will not give their permission for the two planned test-drillings at the beginning of 2013. This target was reached because of the massive resistance against the shale gas project by the farmers, wine-farmers, tourism stakeholders and citizens of the towns. As a result the oil and gas drilling company OMV announced that the project will be stopped after a dramatic loss of public confidence.
- Thousands of people participated in protests against the searches for shale gas, organized in 12 large Bulgarian cities under the slogan “let us wake up, let’s protect our land and water!” Demands for a nationwide moratorium, and then the statutory prohibition on the use of fracking technology were voiced in Sofia, Varna, Dobriczu, Plewenie, Szumenie and Burgas.
- London, England – A mining company has halted drilling for shale gas in England after scientists said two small earthquakes might be linked to the controversial process, known as “fracking”.
- A European Union report says “ban fracking.” In a study requested by the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, scientists conclude that “at a time when sustainability is key to future operations it can be questioned whether the injection of toxic chemicals in the underground should be allowed, or whether it should be banned as such a practice would restrict or exclude any later use of the contaminated layer… and as long-term effects are not investigated.” A spokesperson said… “It is ironic that the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association (PEPANZ) issued a position paper glorifying fracking as the savior of the world’s energy problems within hours of a European Union requested study that considers banning the practice outright across Europe“
- The French Parliament and Senate have voted to ban hydraulic fracturing or fracking. France is the first country in Europe to ban the controversial practice that involves using ‘slick’ water a combination of water, chemicals and mud, to fracture the rock with hairline cracks and prop open underground fissures.
- Northern Ireland’s Assembly has passed a moratorium on fracking pending an environmental assessment. Counties Sligo and Donegal have voted for a ban.
- The Parliamentof Luxembourg voted against a motion to extract underground shale gas due to concerns over the environmental impact of the process. Several MPs indicated that the extraction of shale gas was not in the interest of moving the country of Luxembourg towards the consumption of sustainable and green sources of energy.
- Peru‘s top court has affirmed the right of an Amazon
indigenous community to block outsiders from entering its lands, a ruling that could foil resource extraction in tribal areas. The ruling by the constitutional court in favor of the Tres Islas community sets a precedent for tribes trying to halt mining, logging or oil drilling on their lands.
- Romania’s designated Ponta Government plans an immediate moratorium on shale gas exploitation until developing European-level studies on the impact of hydraulic fractioning procedures on the environment are concluded.
- A countrywide moratorium against hydrofracking has been implemented and will expire soon. A recent letter from a colleague in Capetown indicates… “In South Africa our moratorium has come to an end and we await the report to Parliament from the Minister of Mineral Resources whose task team has been looking into HF. Many people in South Africa are very concerned about possible fracking here and are closely following international events and research. Treasure the Karoo Action Groupwww.treasurethekaroo.co.za has become the leading opposition group against fracking in South Africa, and is prepared to go to court if permits are granted. Permits have been applied for in a large part of our Karoo, central SA, 230,000 sq km. Every success internationally helps other communities in their resolve to continue in their battles to try to stop fracking.”
- In April, authorities in the Swiss Canton of Fribourg suspended all authorizations to prospect for shale gas on its territory for an undetermined period.
Compiled by Joe Hoff, Chairman of Keuka Citizens Against Hydrofracking…
As of March 6, 2013