Anti-fracking hearing set for Feb. 11

Supervisor reaffirms his belief that fracking is incompatible with town’s comprehensive plan


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  • This photo from the Web site of the nonprofit U.S. Water Alliance group shows a hydrofracking station in operation.



— Although it was a regular meeting of the Town of Warwick board, one may not have guessed it judging by the amount of cars in the parking lot at Town Hall on Jan. 24.

Included on the agenda was scheduling a public hearing to consider two local laws about hydraulic fracturing.

One of the proposed laws would “prohibit brine on town roads” while the other would “prohibit [the] heavy industry” associated with the process that extracts gas from shale deposits in the ground.

Town supervisor Michael Sweeton reaffirmed his belief that what is commonly called “fracking” is incompatible with Warwick’s comprehensive plan.

The board voted unanimously to schedule the public hearing for Monday, Feb. 11, at 6 p.m. at Warwick Town Hall.

The board may schedule a vote on the proposed laws for the regular meeting later that week.

Background

Warwick sits largely atop the Utica Shale Formation. In October the town’s Conservation Board Chairman Dan Duthie urged the town to ban fracking.

Most residents present in the room signed the petition against fracking, which Geoffrey Howard of Sustainable Warwick presented to the board that evening. He said more than 1,000 Warwick residents, including ones from Bellvale, Florida, Greenwood Lake and Pine Island, had signed the petition that seeks a ban both on fracking “and its support activities” that include using the wastewater as brine to de-ice roads.

Dozens of local realtors and small business owners also signed letters in support of Sustainable Warwick’s petition.

One man who became visibly agitated while advocating for his private property rights was twice declared out of order during privilege of the floor.

In other news

The town will be issuing summonses for all delinquent dog licenses. Resident should check that dog licenses are up-to-date.

The ice skating rink in Pine Island Park is open.

In 2012 the Community Preservation Fund raised a total of $536,551.88

The next regular meeting of the board is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 14, at 7:30 p.m. in Warwick Town Hall, 132 Kings Highway.



By Birgit Bogler

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