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The Dansville Online
  • Nunda town council approves hydrofracking moratorium

  • In an effort to protect Nunda citizens from what some argue to be an unscrupulous industry, the Nunda town council approved a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing during its Feb. 14 meeting.

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  • In an effort to protect Nunda citizens from what some argue to be an unscrupulous industry, the Nunda town council approved a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing during its Feb. 14 meeting.
    “Our board has not been educated in the area of fracking,” town Supervisor Tom Baldwin said. “We want to buy time so we can be better educated so we can make better choices.”
    The town is looking at the county’s road use agreements pertaining to hydrofracking to get ideas on how to adopt a similar agreement for town roads; as well as look at information on hydrofracking coming out of studies from Cornell University and University of Texas; plus seeing what the state Department of Environmental Conservation decides, pertaining its own decision on hydrofracking regulations, before enacting a local law.
    The moratorium came with much support from the community, although not everyone was in favor of it.
    “We’ve had open communications with both sides,” Baldwin said, adding that the community has been understanding of that.
    Baldwin said studies have shown that human error is a risk, and that the deciding factor to pursue this moratorium was to ensure the industry was held to a standard to mitigate those risks.
    “Our committment is to protect our people,” he said.
    With hydrofracking being a volatile subject, Baldwin said the town council was leery of spending taxpayer money to draft a moratorium that could incite litigation.
    The gas companies could potentially sue the town if the state decides to override the town’s right to develop its own zoning laws pertaining to hydrofracking.
    He also said the town’s budget is tight, plus he felt uncomfortable using taxpayer money to draft a law that is not representative of everyone.
    An attorney provided by Frack Free Genesee, a citizen’s group dedicated to fight hydrofracking in the Genesee Region,?drafted the moratorium pro bono.
    Baldwin added that he is supportive of hydrofracking if the companies “would abide by the Clean Air and Water Act, and if they would come through and restructure their leases so people are treated fairly. Those are my two issues.”

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