Opponents of hydro-fracking continue to turn-up the heat on State Senator Mark Grisanti of Buffalo. The anti-fracking advocated wants to see a state-wide ban on natural gas drilling approved.
“What a lot of people don’t know is Senator Grisanti is the chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee where a bill to stop fracking before it even starts has been stalled since last year,” said Rita Yelda, local opponent of hydro-fracking and an organizer with Food and Water Watch. The group is concerned that chemicals used to frack shale to release natural gas contaminates water supplies.
“The DEC estimates that 6.6 billions of gallons of waste water, and that’s on the low end, if we allow fracking to go through in New York State. That waste posses a huge disposal problem for the state,” said Yelda.
Senator Grisanti tells WBFO & AM-970 News he’s been working with groups from both sides of the fracking issue since last year, and he does have concerns about protecting the water.
“There is no facility that is in New York State, whether it be the public treatment facilities or the industrial treatment facilities like we have in Niagara Falls, that have the ability to treat this water to its fullest capacity, ” said Senator Grisanti. "There is pre-treating methods that various places can do in New York State. But it can’t be treated fully. That is a concern of mine; it’s a concern of other members of our conference.”
The Niagara Falls city council recently voted to ban hydrofracking in and the treatment of waste water.
Still, with concerns that fracking could begin in the state by this summer, Yelda says the clock is ticking for state action.
“Senator Grisanti needs to live up to his position as chair of the Environmental committee by protecting the environment and water sources by supporting this ban on fracking,” Said Yelda.
Grisanti noted that the proposed state budget plan does not provide funding for hydro-fracking.
“As far as a statewide moratorium, I don’t see that this is something coming down this legislative session,” said Senator Grisanti.