Erie County Legislature to vote on fracking ban today

Dec 12, 2013

Legislation that would ban hydrofracking on county-owned land is expected to be voted on today by the Erie County Legislature.

Rita Yelda, an organizer with Food and Water Watch, says about 4,000 people signed a petition supporting the ban. If approved, Yelda says the legislation would also prohibit spreading wastewater from the controversial drilling process as industrial brine on area roads.

Several fracking protests have taken place in the area in recent years, including when President Obama came to visit UB in August.
Credit File photo

"A lot of times it's used as a road treatment to keep down the dust or to melt the ice. That really exposes all of the residents in the county to those chemical used in fracking. It's extremely dangerous," Yelda told WBFO News.

Yelda says more than 25 percent of the chemicals used in fracking are carcinogens and she says Marcellus and Utica shale contain radioactive elements.

Supporters the gas drilling process is safe and the industry will create thousands of new jobs in New York state.

The public won't have a chance to comment before the vote, but Yelda says residents from across the county will be there.