ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz issued the following statement pursuant to his approval of Local Law Intro. No. 4-2013, entitled “Banning of Hydraulic Fracturing on Land Owned by Erie County.”
A public hearing on this law held on December 30, 2013 evidenced strong public support for the ban, which also passed the Erie County legislature on a 9-2 vote with support from Democrat, Republican, and Independent members.“I am approving Local Law Intro. No. 4-2013 based on the demonstrated support of the public, as well as the support shown by a majority of Erie County legislators who expressed their concern about hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and disposal of fracking waste in Erie County. My approval of this local law recognizes that it does not ban fracking in Erie County, but only bans it on County-owned lands such as Parks, in addition to prohibiting the acceptance of fracking waste at Erie County-owned sewage treatment facilities. A current statewide moratorium bars fracking anywhere in New York State; however, if Governor Andrew Cuomo were to lift that moratorium, fracking would be permitted on any privately owned land and non-Erie County owned sewage treatment facilities would be permitted to accept fracking waste. Protecting our land and water resources is important to preserving our heritage, and while this law is limited in scope and partially overlaps the Erie County Parks Protection Law that has been on the books since 1993, the overwhelming and vocal public support for such a ban cannot be ignored.”
“We’re relieved that County Executive Poloncarz paid attention to the thousands of Erie County residents who spoke up in favor of a ban and the bipartisan group of Erie County legislators who voted in favor of it. The evidence is clear – fracking and its waste brings unacceptable risks of water contamination and health impacts. Erie County and the other counties statewide that have voted for a ban are sending a clear message to Governor Cuomo – that all parts of New York want him to ban fracking," stated Rita Yelda of Food & Water Watch and Western NY Drilling Defense.