1,000 sign anti-fracking petition
Group re-iterates its belief that fracking is ‘incompatible’ with Warwick’s Comprehensive Plan
WARWICK — Sustainable Warwick was scheduled to present a petition to the Warwick Town Board at Town Hall on Thursday, Jan. 24, urging prohibitions on high volume slick water hydraulic fracturing for natural gas (fracking), fracking wastes, and related activitiesAccording to the group’s press release, more than 1,000 people had signed the online petition (which is still open for signatures at: www.change.org/petitions/warwick-ban-fracking-now).Sustainable Warwick also planned to present to town officials letters of support for new regulations signed by dozens of local business owners and realtors, specifying concerns about Warwick’s business interests.Sustainable Warwick initiated the petition to show that there is public support to protect Warwick from this industrial process and vast quantities of liquid and solid wastes which are generated and must be disposed of.Sustainable Warwick is urging these actions because the group believes:Fracking is a heavy industrial process that involves many thousands of tanker truck trips, road damage, noise, potential for serious accidents and bright lights 24/7.Spills, accidents, leaks from wastewater storage, and faulty well casings can contaminate surface water, groundwater, air and land.Chemicals used in fracking and other chemicals and radioactivity released from underground fracturing pose health hazards.Contaminated and highly saline liquid and solid wastes from fracking have been illegally dumped, released into waterways, used as road de-icer, and disposed of in water treatment or waste disposal plants that cannot remove such chemicals.The New York State moratorium on fracking expires at the end of February, when regulations about fracking are expected to be finalized.“‘Home rule’ allows municipalities to determine their own laws, unless state regulations already take precedent,” Sustainable Warwick said in its press release about the petition. “No one knows exactly what regulations New York State will adopt if fracking is approved, so there is legal value in having our local laws in place prior to any state ruling.”Town Conservation Board memorandumAt the town’s request, Warwick’s Conservation Board researched the fracking process and submitted a memorandum in November. This report concluded that: “The known adverse impacts caused by Fracking, even with substantial mitigation, do not justify allowing such an intensive industrial activity in the Town.”Basing its analysis on documents from the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the GAO (Government Accounting Office) and other sources, the Conservation Board concluded that fracking would “disrupt the aesthetic quality of the Town’s landscape and open spaces, land values, water and air resources.”The memorandum concluded: “A detailed understanding of Fracking and its impacts, along with a review of the Comprehensive Plan (guideline for the town’s planning and zoning), virtually demands a complete ban on that and any related activities.”
Editor’s note: The Warwick Advertiser will carry a full report from the Jan. 24th meeting online at warwickadvertiser.com and in next week’s paper.