Municipal Bans, Resolutions, Moratoria

Map of NYS Bans and Moratoria in Place:  http://www.fractracker.org/maps/ny-moratoria/#.UK067LM-Pcw.wordpress

The  interactive FracMapper resource: http://maps.fractracker.org/?webmap=c9c16eddd8ba4292b78fcda4e3bf7806 has a zoomable map of the bans and moratoria.   Click on specific towns, you’ll get a pop-up box that may have a hotlink that will bring you right to the ban or moratorium legislation. I don’t have links for every ban or moratoria (some may not be posted online, for example), but there are 139 I know of at present that show up in these pop-up windows.

Karen Edelstein

(The following information is incomplete.  Please refer to map above for latest information and search name of municipality for details)

Municipal Bans on Hydrofracking (Legal framework)

  • Home rule–town authority to control land use through comprehensive plans, zoning, codes, ordinances that do not constitute regulation of a specific process or industry.

  • Program on Wednesday, October 19, 2011, County Office Building Auditorium.  6-8pm – Topics to cover:  Options for towns with and without comprehensive plans/zoning ordinances.  (Slides available soon)

 Documents needed:  Officials should read over documents that provide direction, e.g. comprehensive plans, codes, ordinances, and/or descriptions that characterize their town.   Resources on Local Laws

Specific Municipal Actions:

Citizens Campaign for the Environment Compilation of Municipal Actions against Hydrofracking

  • Town of Otsego says NO to gas drilling
Print E-mail

 Fly Creek, NY, 11 May 2010–The Otsego Town Board voted 4-1 tonight to clarify a long-standing prohibition against heavy industry, including fracking for natural gas, in the town’s land use law. By this vote the town, which includes most of the Village of Cooperstown, reaffirmed its home rule right to prohibit uses not permitted by local ordinances.

Though many towns in New York State have similar limitations on permitted uses on the books, pro-drilling advocates, pointing out that the gas industry is exempt from local regulation, have argued that towns have no authority at all over natural gas extraction.

The Town of Otsego action leaves it to the state’s DEC to regulate gas drilling when and where it may occur, but reserves the home rule right to determine in the first place whether such a use should be allowed or prohibited in the town. In this case the answer was a resounding NO.

It is the first rural town in New York State to explicitly invoke its home rule authority to block gas drilling as a type of undesirable heavy industry incompatible with the town’s comprehensive plan. The town acted in response to the overwhelming sentiment of the enrolled voters in the town opposed to gas drilling and heavy industry, documented through petitions and surveys as well as testimony at privilege of the floor and at a public hearing.

A number of other towns in Otsego county and across the state are contemplating taking similar steps. This grassroots resistance to natural gas extraction is a remarkable phenomenon. Local citizens are saying no to fracking for natural gas directly in their communities as too dangerous and costly and destructive to be tolerated. It is time for state and federal officials to take notice.

Adrian Kuzminski
Moderator, Sustainable Otsego
Contact: 607-547-8586
http://www.sustainableotsego.org

  • KINGSTON – The only question raised among Ulster County legislators before voting, unanimously, to prohibit the leasing of any county-owned lands for natural gas extraction was ‘why limit it to county lands’?  Democrat Susan Zimet, who introduced the resolution that drew solid bipartisan support and praise from Republicans and Democrats, said it is better to do this a step at a time.  “I felt that by doing it on the county property that we as county legislators could stand up, say that we’ll deal with our own home property now and not go to the private property people; that this would be just the first step,” she said. “It would be easier to do a first step and we can build and build and build.”  Several people spoke during public comment prior to the agenda items, all raising essentially the same points that have been raised many times before, in opposition to hydrofracking, and in favor of the resolution.
  • Tompkins bans fracking on county-owned land.  By Liz Lawyer  • December 21, 2010, http://www.theithacajournal.com/article/20101221/NEWS01/12210359/Tompkins+bans+fracking+on+county-owned+land.  Land owned by Tompkins County will not be leased for natural gas drilling if hydraulic fracturing is used, the county legislature decided Tuesday.  The legislature voted 14-1 to approve a resolution prohibiting the leasing of any county-owned land for hydraulic fracturing, a natural gas-drilling method used in the Marcellus Shale in which a mixture of water, sand and chemicals are pumped into the ground under high pressure to crack the shale and release the natural gas.The process is highly controversial, with opponents arguing it is detrimental to the environment, threatens drinking water, and the traffic from the drilling pads destroys local roads.Supporters say the natural gas trapped in the Marcellus Shale, part of which reaches into western and central New York, would be an economic boon to the region.Legislator Frank Proto, R-Caroline and Danby, cast the only vote against the resolution. He said the wording was unnecessarily complicated and a simpler, more direct resolution, accomplishing the same thing, should have been presented.  Text of the Resolution with Greenhouse Gas provisions that were excised before adoption
  • Supervisors pass ban on hydrofracking in Ontario County.By Mike Maslanik, staff writer. GateHouse News ServicePosted Dec 20, 2010. Canandaigua, N.Y. — The Ontario County Board of Supervisors overwhelmingly backed a measure to ban the practice of hydrofracking on property owned by the county.All supervisors present at Thursday night’s meeting voted to approved the resolution, which also stipulates that the Ontario County landfill will not accept waste products from hydraulic fracturing without written permission from the county.Supervisors Don Ninestine, D-City of Geneva , and Robert Green, R-Bristol, were absent.“I’m quite pleased that the board was unanimous in its decision,” said Supervisor David Baker, D-City of Canandaigua, chair of the county’s Environmental Quality committee. “We’re very hopeful that the state Legislature will not allow (hydrofracking) until the Environmental Protection Agency studies it fully.”In the past, the board has passed several resolutions related to hydrofracking, such as requesting the state to put a moratorium on the practice until more studies could be done, but this was the first time the board exercised local control.“The control we have is over county lands,” Baker said. “The other local control we have is the acceptance or rejection of waste materials.”In Albany , outgoing Gov. David Paterson issued an executive order banning high-volume fracturing of horizontally drilled wells, like those in the southern part of the state, until July 1. Paterson vetoed a bill that would have suspended all gas drilling permits until May 15.

    Going forward, Baker said the board will take up a resolution that, if hydrofracking is allowed in the state, would require companies to get a road-use agreement with the local municipality or a trucking plan.

    That resolution will also direct the county’s Planning Department to draft model resolutions for towns and villages interested in passing their own hydrofracking regulations.

  • Pittsburgh Ordinance to Ban Hydrofracking Nov. 17, 2010
  • Two central Pa. municipalities consider drilling ban | lehighvalleylive.com.
  • Otisco Lake Assoc. Declares Fracking Ban  12/13/10
  • Tonight the Otisco Town Board unanimously voted for a moratorium in our Otisco Lake watershed and the Town of Otisco!  This was after we all heard Don Siegel, SU Professor (pro-fracking) speak for well over an hour.  The Board was gracious enough to allow us to speak as well (we had our “day in the sun” twice before) and ask Dr. Siegel questions, sometimes disputing and challenging what he had said.  All in all it was a very cordial evening, everyone was very respectful.  We expressed our appreciation for his time and “knowledge” and he actually complimented us (all people/groups working against hydrofracking) for doing what we are doing.  He said, “If it is done in NY State, it will be done w/ strong regulatory standards and we all have the Advocates against hydrofracking to thank for that.”  But he did paint a very benign picture of hydrofracking and kept making reference to “scare tactics” and being offended by the untruths of what is being said about “his” science.–Anita Williams, President,  Otisco Lake Preservation Association
  • Town of Ulysses Advocates Petition to Ban Hydrofracking Support Ulysses, NY in their drive to BAN drilling  by way of local land-use regulations- yes, sign even if you don’t live there.  This may set a precedent for all of us in asserting local control.  http://www.gopetition.com/petition/38931.html
  • Town of Ulysses Resolution to Ban Hydrofracking. http://ulysses.ny.us/gas-drill-res.pdf
  • Individual Municipal Actions/Ordinances
    • “Village board warned about impacts of gas drilling: “…The board of trustees listened to a presentation during its meeting Monday night about the potential impacts of gas drilling and hydrofracking for which the village should be prepared. Main Street resident Lou Allstadt, a former vice president with Mobil Oil, told the mayor and trustees the two largest impacts facing the village will be the potential for polluting drinking water and large truck traffic…Contamination of water supplies is generally caused by accidents on the surface or problems with the well casings, he said, adding that either one could cause an immediate impact on the village water system, which draws its water from Otsego Lake. “It will be a really severe problem,” he said…” ” (The Cooperstown Crier) (NY)- http://coopercrier.com/localnews/x1468308485/Village-board-warned-about-impacts-of-gas-drilling
    • Supervisors pass ban on hydrofracking in Ontario County. By Mike Maslanik, GateHouse News Service.  Dec 20, 2010. Canandaigua, N.Y. —
      • The Ontario County Board of Supervisors overwhelmingly backed a measure to ban the practice of hydrofracking on property owned by the county.All supervisors present at Thursday night’s meeting voted to approved the resolution, which also stipulates that the Ontario County landfill will not accept waste products from hydraulic fracturing without written permission from the county.Supervisors Don Ninestine, D-City of Geneva , and Robert Green, R-Bristol, were absent.
        “I’m quite pleased that the board was unanimous in its decision,” said Supervisor David Baker, D-City of Canandaigua, chair of the county’s Environmental Quality committee. “We’re very hopeful that the state Legislature will not allow (hydrofracking) until the Environmental Protection Agency studies it fully.”In the past, the board has passed several resolutions related to hydrofracking, such as requesting the state to put a moratorium on the practice until more studies could be done, but this was the first time the board exercised local control. “The control we have is over county lands,” Baker said. “The other local control we have is the acceptance or rejection of waste materials.”In Albany , outgoing Gov. David Paterson issued an executive order banning high-volume fracturing of horizontally drilled wells, like those in the southern part of the state, until July 1. Paterson vetoed a bill that would have suspended all gas drilling permits until May 15.Going forward, Baker said the board will take up a resolution that, if hydrofracking is allowed in the state, would require companies to get a road-use agreement with the local municipality or a trucking plan.  That resolution will also direct the county’s Planning Department to draft model resolutions for towns and villages interested in passing their own hydrofracking regulations.

    Compilations:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: