Public hearing on county fracking ban being held today

Dec 30, 2013

Erie County Executive Poloncarz will hear about the pros and cons of natural gas fracking Monday afternoon as he holds a public hearing on limiting the energy source in Erie County.

Past anti-frack protests in Buffalo.
Credit WBFO News file photo

By an overwhelming majority of 9 to 2, county legislators this month sent to Poloncarz a local law that would ban fracking on county-owned land, bar its transportation on county roads, and bar the use of county-owned sewage disposal plants to treat the toxic waste of the process, usually water contaminated by fracking chemicals.

Credit File photo

Legislator Joseph Lorigo, one of the two 'no' votes, says he is not pleased with the way the process has played out.

"The way this fracking ban was rushed through in two weeks without ever having a chance to be heard at the Energy and Environment Committee, of which I'm a member, was bad policy and bad government," Lorgio says.

Lorigo says fracking on county land is already barred by prior law. Chair Betty Jean Grant says that isn't so because the parks protection law only applies to parks and the county has other land. She says the industrial process of fracking threatens health as well as park lands.

Monday's hearing starts at 4 p.m. in Room 1404 of the Rath Building at 95 Franklin Street.