The momentum for a safe environment continues to build in New York State with new additions to the list of bans and moratoria against high volume, slick water hydraulic fracture drilling (fracking) for natural gas. Manheim, Springwater and the geographic center of the Empire State, St. Johnsville in the Mohawk Valley, have been added for a new total of 80 protected communities. Formal action toward a ban and/or moratorium is now pending in 45 additional municipalities.
It is not a “reach” to indicate that in the next six to eight weeks that the total will be above 150 communities under a protective umbrella of strong, legally enacted ordinances .
The attached listing is provided for your information and use with legislators in partial recognition that the grassroots network of concerned citizens is alive and well in New York. Keep in mind that the Iroquois Confederation made every decision based on the welfare of their nations for six generations. We encourage this perspective to be uppermost in the deliberations of elected leaders as they consider what is best for the health welfare and safety of all of us throughout the cities, towns, hills, valleys and plains of our beautiful state.
Joe Hoff, Chairman
Keuka Citizens Against Hydrofracking
New York State: 80 Communities Protected, 45 Municipalities and 2 Counties are Staging for Passage of Draft Legislation - as of 2/28/12
Ø Denying the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens, in releasing the 1500+ page study conducted by his agency defended the report that may permit hydrofrack drilling in NYS. Exempted are the watershed areas of both New York City and the Syracuse regions (where a ban on drilling is in effect.) Intensive study of the report will be undertaken on the negative impact that hydrofracking will have when the report is released to the public. In a prepared statement, DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens said, “This report strikes the right balance between protecting our environment, watersheds, and drinking water and promoting economic development.”
Ø Those opposed to the practice argue that the recommendations allow the state to apply double standards to protecting drinking water supplies. Jack Ossont, spokesman for The Coalition to Protect New York, stated the following in response to the DEC report: “(The) announcement is premature and makes little sense. By proposing rules that prohibit hydraulic fracturing near drinking water for urban areas, the state recognizes the serious risks and pollution dangers caused by fracking. But by allowing it to take place in other areas, the state is condemning rural residents to the real risk of contaminated drinking water, industrial pollution and corporate control. If fracking is safe, why ban it in some areas? And if it’s dangerous, why allow it in others?
Ø During the open comment period over 60,000 responses to fracking were shared with the DEC. Though the tabulation continues, responses were running at 10 to 1 against the practice.
Ø Two legislative bills on hydrofrack drilling were considered by the legislature. The Assembly passed an extension of the current moratorium through June of 2012. The Senate did not act on a parallel bill and the issue is closed for the present.
Ø Yates County resolution unanimously passed calls for similar protection treatment of their watershed as that in NYC and Syracuse watersheds.
Ø The Town of Jerusalem (Yates) enacted a moratorium ordinance for their entire township. The one-year moratorium begins when the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) relating to the extraction of natural gas by the process of high-volume hydraulic fracturing now under review by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is finalized.
Ø The Village of Penn Yan will not accept any hydrofracking wastewater for processing at the village wastewater treatment plant.
Ø A consortium of interested citizens is planning for a unified moratorium and eventual ban of hydrofrack drilling in the entire Keuka Lake watershed region. To date the towns of Barrington, Benton, Milo and Wayne have adopted moratoria ordinances. Following an eleven month review process in which a moratorium had been in effect, Jerusalem has enacted a zoning ordinance which effectively bans fracking from their township. Barrington has also decided that they would like to prohibit the storage of industrial waste and landfills. Pulteney has paved the way for their township via a resolution to review a draft moratorium. Nine of the 10 towns in the watershed are under the protection of zoning, moratoria and bans.
Ø Dewitt, Tully, Marcellus and Skaneateles have enacted moratoria laws.
Ø The Town of Highland (Sullivan Co) has a six-month moratorium while their Comprehensive Management Plan is re-written to explicitly prohibit heavy industrial uses and adopt a zoning ordinance similar to the Town of Ulysses.
Ø Buffalo has banned hydrofrack drilling and wastewater disposal in their city.
Ø Lumberland and Tusten (Sullivan Co) have rewriten their comprehensive plans to prohibit heavy industrialization similar to the Town of Ulysses. Tusten’s zoning law has prohibitions against high impact industrial activity including gas drilling. This essentially is a ban.
Ø The Town of Ulysses clarified in zoning that gas drilling is one of the prohibited uses, as are many other uses. In their zoning ordinances, if an activity is not specifically mentioned as allowed, then it is prohibited. There are no heavy industrial zones in Ulysses.
Ø Broome County: Has a “de facto” peoples ban on hydrofracking on county lands. A former official’s attempts to pass a pro-drilling statute were twice rejected due to an overwhelming reaction from residents. Waste restrictions for fracking cuttings and flow back water established.
Ø Dutchess, Onondaga, Ontario, Sullivan, Tompkins, and Ulster Counties have enacted bans on fracking on county owned land. Albany and Yates Counties are in the: beginning stages of a movement to ban fracking on county lands
Ø Gorham in Ontario County enacted a moratorium ordinance.
Ø All towns that ring Cooperstown's reservoir, Otsego Lake including Otsego, and Cherry Valley are moving to ban or restrict natural gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing. Middlefield has banned heavy industry including gas drilling. The State Supreme Court has upheld their right to do so.
Ø Springfield has adopted local laws prohibiting heavy industry, including gas drilling.
Ø The Medical Society of the State of New York has gone on record supporting a moratorium on gas drilling using high volume hydraulic fracturing.
Ø Cooperstown’s Chamber of Commerce has issued a position statement supporting a total ban on fracking due to the impact it will make on their watershed, farming and tourism.
Ø New York City has called on the US Congress to remove hydrofrack drilling’s exemption from the Safe Water Drinking Act.
Ø The Skaneateles Town Board has initiated plans for a ban in their township.
Ø The Otsego County Planning Board approved changes to Middlefield's master plan and zoning law that would specifically prohibit heavy industry, including gas and oil drilling.
Ø The Board of Trustees of Bassett Medical Center, based in Cooperstown, New York, views the issue of hydrofracking as a public health issue of the highest priority and resolves that the hydrofracking method of gas drilling constitutes an unacceptable threat to the health of patients, and should be prohibited until such time as it is proven to be safe. The Bassett Healthcare Network is responsible for the health care of a significant proportion of the population of eight counties in central New York State.
Ø Alfred in Allegany County has enacted a one-year moratorium Following its neighbor’s lead, Almond, is preparing an ordinance for a one year moratorium as well.
Ø Lebanon town board members adopted a memorializing resolution that calls on the New York State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo to repeal and reform compulsory integration laws in the State of New York that currently govern natural gas development.
Ø A petition drive resulted in the Dryden Town Board unanimously passing a resolution to ban fracking. A Denver-based natural-gas company Anschutz Exploration Corp. has filed the first lawsuit against a local drilling ban in New York. The State Supreme Court in Tompkins County has upheld Dryden's ban.
Ø The Croton Watershed Clean Water Coalition, Inc. has sued the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in New York State Supreme Court to declare High Volume Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing in New York State Forests contrary to the New York State Constitution and applicable environmental laws.
Ø The Otsego Town Board clarified 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 drilling through local ordinance. They also approved revisions to its land-use law that strengthen a ban on gas drilling and hydrofracking within the town. The law now specifies that while the removal of gravel, rock, stone, sand, fill, topsoil or "unconsolidated" minerals has been allowed, extraction of natural gas and petroleum is not permitted.
Ø The Common Council of Oneonta voted to ban all forms of natural gas drilling in city limits.
Ø The Town of Wales adopted a community rights ordinance that bans “fracking.” The ordinance establishes a Bill of Rights for Wales residents and “recognizes and secures certain civil and political rights of the residents to govern themselves and protect themselves from harm to their persons, property and environment.”
Ø The exploration of land for natural gas by horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing is prohibited in the Town of Camillus.
Ø The city of Auburn is banning natural gas-drilling wastewater from its treatment plant and will no longer accept water from natural gas wells. Onondaga County has also done so.
Ø Damascus Citizens for Sustainability filed a lawsuit against the DRBC (NEPA EIS Cases v. DRBC & Other Federal Agencies (Federal Court) ) for failure to include an Environmental Impact Assessment as required by the National Environmental Policy Act before proposing gas drilling regulations for the watershed. The DCS lawsuit focused on the impacts on human health that should have been assessed before regulations were formulated. The DCS' suit and Delaware Riverkeeper's suit are now consolidated with the NY Attorney General's suit.
Ø The Ithaca Town Board has amended the town's zoning law to become the first municipality in Tompkins County to ban gas drilling within its borders.
Ø The Town of Cherry Valley passed a comprehensive zoning law effectively outlawing new gas drilling and gas processing facilities.
Ø Geneva has enacted a law banning fracking in heir municipality.
Ø Virgil banned drilling in much of its aquifer protection district.
Ø The Sullivan County Supreme Court has permanently enjoined Cabot Oil from “exploring, drilling, producing and marketing oil and natural gas and other hydrocarbons” within a residential subdivision in the Sullivan County town of Tusten. While this decision concerns home owner covenants rather than zoning, the underlying principal is the same- communities have the right to protect the health, safety and quality of life of their residents in the face of drilling practices such as hydrofracking despite the insistence by the drilling industry and some public officials that communities have no such rights.
Ø Niles in Allegany County has recently added their moratorium to the growing list in New York State. Spafford in Onondaga County did so as well.
Ø Jordan Elbridge in Onondaga County joined its neighbors and has a moratorium until September.
Ø Danby in Tompkins County passed unanimously their ban.
Ø Otisco has a moratorium in place.
Ø More than 250 pediatricians, family practitioners, otolaryngologists, endocrinologists, oncologists and other doctors, along with the medical societies of at least seven upstate counties and the regional office of the American Academy of Pediatricians, wrote to Governor Cuomo warning that the state has failed to analyze public health impacts of HVHF in its rush to approve permits for drilling. “We are greatly concerned about the omission of a critical issue related to the development of natural gas using high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking: human health impacts” they wrote. Noting that HVHF will likely increase health care costs, as well as mitigating water and air pollution, the medical authorities called on the governor to immediately request an independent school of public health to conduct a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) since the state’s Department of Health has said it is unwilling to do so.
Ø Plainfield has a ban in place.
Ø Cortlandville has a moratorium in effect.
Ø The Town of Middlesex Board has implemented a year-long moratorium.
Ø The Town of Onondaga in Onondaga County has enacted a moratorium.
Ø The Albany Common Council has voted to pass the banning of hydrofracking in the city yet the mayor vetoed the citywide ban. Observers await the next steps.
Ø The Town of Richmondville in Schoharie County has officially moved to pass a ban using local zoning.
Ø The Naples Village Board passed a moratorium keeping hydrofracking out of the village for one year.
Ø The Yates County Farm Bureau recently took a stand in favor of conventional gas drilling, but is opposed to HVHF in gas exploration until it can be done safely.
Ø Syracuse lawmakers voted unanimously to ban natural gas drilling. Syracuse thus joins Albany and Buffalo among major Upstate cities to ban hydrofracking. The new law also prohibits storage of fracking fluids within the city limits, as well as city-owned lands outside of Syracuse.
Ø The Town Board of the Town of Canandaigua called on Governor Cuomo and Legislature of New York State to apply the same standards of prohibiting high volume hydraulic fracturing to the Canandaigua Lake watershed and all the Finger Lakes watersheds that the DEC has indicated it will apply to the New York City and Syracuse watersheds.
Ø The town of Summerhill, Cayuga County, approved a ban on gas drilling. Rather than prohibit hydrofracking through zoning, the law indicates that "the town can use its police power and its power to prohibit public nuisance to protect the health, safety and welfare of the current and future residents of the town." It is reported that the town used this option because it does not have a comprehensive plan or zoning code.
Ø The Board of Directors of the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association has voted unanimously to oppose hydraulic fracturing drilling for natural gas in the watershed.
Ø The Delaware River Basin Commission decided to postpone a vote on whether to finally release new drilling rules for land inside of the DRBC’s jurisdiction. The dominoes began to fall when Governor Jack Markell announced that Delaware would vote against the plan to allow gas development to commence in the Delaware River Watershed. New York had earlier stated that they were voting “NO” on the proposal. Apparently, the Commission did not feel they had the three votes needed to move the proposal forward. The Delaware River Basin Commission is composed of the Governors of the four states that drain to the Delaware River, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware and a federal representative, the Army Corps of Engineers for the Obama Administration.
Ø The Town of Andes (in Delaware County) passed a six month moratorium on heavy industry in mid-November and a draft for a permanent ban has been developed.
Ø The Canandaigua Town Board passed an 18 month moratorium banning natural gas and petroleum activities including high volume hydraulic fracturing.
Ø Movement toward moratoria/bans are underway in Bethel, Blenheim, Butternuts, Carlisle, Cobbleskill, Columbus, Croton, Dolgeville, Enfield, Groton, Highland, Italy, Lansing, Little Falls, Marbletown, Maryland (Otsego County), Middleburgh, Milford, Minden,Morris, New Lisbon, New Paltz, Olive, Palatine, Perinton, Plymouth, Rochester (in the Hudson Valley), Rush, Saugerfield, Seward, Sharon, Sidney, Smithville, Starkey, Vestal, Vienna, Wayne and Westford.
Ø Tompkins County has enacted a ban on fracking on county land. They also passed a law requiring any company involving “high-frequency, high impact truck traffic” to obtain a permit and pay for any road damage. They have passed resolutions banning fracking in the county and Finger Lakes region and endorsing home rule authority regarding local land use and gas drilling.
Ø Livingston County municipalities (and communities in adjoining counties) are taking hold of the momentum that is building in upstate New York and the Finger Lakes region. Draft moratoria await action in Avon, Bristol, Canaseraga, Geneseo, Lima, Rush, and West Sparta. Caledonia, Conesus, Livonia, Mount Morris, Nunda, Richmond, Springwater and South Bristol have approved 12 month moratoria and South Dansville has scheduled their vote this month. Canadice, Dansville and Sparta are staging for moratoria.
Ø New Lisbon has instituted a prohibition against fracking and heavy industry.
Ø Residents in Hector expressed overwhelming support through a petition campaign for a moratorium against fracking in their municipality. Despite strong public support of a moratorium, the Town Board has adamantly refused its consideration.
Ø Binghamton has approved a two year moratorium leaving Rochester as the only remaining large municipality in western New York State to not have taken action to protect the health, welfare and safety of its residents against fracking.
Ø Brighton becomes the first town in Monroe County to approve a moratorium. The moratorium gives the town a window in which it prohibits hydrofracking for a short period while it considers changes in town zoning rules that could ban it completely. Mendon is number 2 in Monroe County to do so.
Ø Just prior to the January 11 deadline for public feedback of hydraulic fracking in New York, a bevy of bakers, chefs and restaurateurs (Chefs for Marcellus) formed a coalition to raise awareness about the threat they say the natural gas drilling technique poses to one of New York’s most cherished institutions: its stomach. Many restaurants source their ingredients from farms in areas on or near the Marcellus Shale, leading the chefs to fear that the groundwater could become contaminated if fracking is allowed in New York.
Ø Among the numerous concerns stated in the fall Newsletter of NYSAWWA (an association of drinking water professionals) was their assessment that "... the NYSDEC does not have the regulatory capacity to adequately enforce requirements; evaluate applications and make the necessary decisions needed to carry out specific mitigation measures as proposed; and conduct field oversight." This point echoes the feelings expressed "off the record" by officials of the DEC who have said that they are woefully unprepared to oversee the process.
Ø Oneida County approaches unanimity in their resolve and actions to prohibit fracking with 24 of 26 towns under the protective umbrella of bans or moratoria. Rome leads the way with a ban in place. Moratoria exist in Annsville, Augusta, Ava, Boonville, Camden, Clinton, Deerfield, Florence, Floyd, Forestport, Kirkland, Marshall, New Hartford, Paris, Remsen, Sangerfield, Steuben, Trenton, Utica, Vernon, Verona, Westmoreland and Whitestown.
Ø Torrey in Yates County enacted a year-long moratorium. Wayne Bayer, a shop steward for the Public Employees Federation, said the union supports a moratorium on hydrofracking because of the agency’s dwindling staff level. The agency has lost more than 800 full-time employees since 2008 because of budget cutbacks. PEF represents about 1,700 scientific and technical workers at the DEC. “(The union) continues to support a moratorium on high-volume hydrofracking, because the existing staff shortages do not support this labor-intensive mission,” Bayer told a panel of lawmakers. Currently, the agency has 16 gas-drilling regulators. The DEC had previously estimated it would need 140 additional workers the first year it issues permits for high-volume hydrofracking. That estimate is based on 75 wells, the gas industry’s best guess for how quickly it would ramp up production in New York the first year the state gives hydrofracking the green light.
Ø Reversing a previous town decision, the new Caroline Town Board passed a resolution to prepare a draft local law that prohibits unconventional gas drilling and associated high-impact industrial activities.
Ø The Moravia Town board enacted a moratorium ordinance prohibiting hydrofracking.
Ø State Supreme Court Justice Donald F. Cerio Jr. upheld the Otsego County town of Middlefield's zoning ordinance that outlawed gas drilling, including the controversial practice of hydrofracking. in favor of the town of Dryden was also registered recently. Cerio's decision, like the one in the Dryden case, says that state law regulating gas drilling does not take away a town's right to enact zoning. Because the members of the town boards in Dryden and Middlefield were willing to exercise their right to protect their citizens and stood firm in their convictions, there now are definitive answers from two separate courts that clearly support local community rights. When asked about municipalities’ rights to enact bans against gas drilling, Governor Cuomo said… “I believe that it’s up to the courts. And if the courts say they have that right, they have the right.”
Ø Manheim in Herimer County, has enacted a moratorium.
Ø St. Johnsville in the Mohawk Valley, the geographic center of NYS, became the 80th municipality to enact a ban or moratorium.
Ø Pittsburgh adopts the first-in-the-nation community rights ordinance which elevates the right of the community to decide, and the rights of nature over the “rights” associated with corporate personhood. The City Council unanimously adopted this ordinance banning corporations from conducting natural gas drilling in the city.
Ø Luzerne County Lehman Township, ordinance calling for “home rule” and a ban on drilling within their surrounding township area.
Ø The Board of Supervisors for Licking Township, Clarion County, PA, voted unanimously on Wednesday to adopt an ordinance banning corporations from dumping “fracking” wastewater in the township. The Licking Township Community Water Rights and Self-Government Ordinance is the first ordinance of its kind adopted in Pennsylvania to confront the threat of Marcellus Shale drilling.
Ø Cresson has enacted legislation banning fracking.
Ø Washington Township has banned fracking.
Ø Philadelphia, Pennsylvania City Council unanimously passed the pro-moratorium Resolution on Marcellus Shale Drilling Environmental and Economic Impacts.
Ø The Borough Council of West Homestead, Pennsylvania, unanimously adopted an ordinance that enacts a Local Bill of Rights, along with a prohibition on natural gas extraction to protect those rights. The bill, titled “West Homestead Borough’s Community Protection from Natural Gas Extraction Ordinance; establishes specific rights of West Homestead residents, including the Right to Water, the Rights of Natural Communities, the Right to a Sustainable Energy Future, and the Right to Community Self-Government.
Ø Philadelphia refuses to purchase Marcellus Shale gas as the dumping of flow back waters is polluting their water supply.
Ø Collier Township upgraded its natural gas drilling ordinance to enhance their Marcellus Shale ordinance that would push drillers farther away from schools and provide baseline measurements for noise levels at drilling sites.
Ø United Methodists representing 950 churches across central and Northeast Pennsylvania passed a resolution calling for a temporary halt in gas well drilling in the Marcellus Shale as well as an impact tax on those places where drilling already has taken hold.
Ø Religious groups such as the Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia have advocated against fracking and in April, 2011, America, the national magazine of the Jesuits editorialized very critically about the process.
Ø Baldwin Borough Council adopted a community rights ordinance that bans the corporate extraction of natural gas.
Ø Wilkinsburg Borough Council unanimously adopted a community rights ordinance that bans gas drilling.
Ø In Peters Township, a community whose rolling hills are dotted with newly built homes, small farms and two country clubs, residents will vote this fall on a local bill of rights that would ban gas extraction, a move proponents say is necessary to guarantee residents the right to clean water and air.
Ø A statewide interfaith organization has introduced questions of morality and climate change into the debate about Marcellus Shale gas well development. Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light will issue a four-page "ethical analysis" that declares its opposition to development of the deep and massive shale gas play because it is not part of a strategy to end fossil fuel use, creates too many environmental and health risks, and perpetuates the "boom and bust" cycles of other, earlier extractive industries in the state.
Ø Forest Hills Council unanimously passed an ordinance banning natural gas drilling in the borough.
Ø Philadelphia’s City Council unanimously passed a resolution to sue the Delaware River Basin Commission, demanding cumulative impacts of high-volume hydraulic fracturing be studied, essentially forbidding fracking. All seventeen members of the council voted in favor of a resolution which joins the City of Philadelphia as a Friend of the Court, together with lawsuits already filed by the Attorney General of the State of New York, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and other parties, in suing the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC). Philadelphia is joining these lawsuits to require, according to the resolution “that no drilling of Marcellus Shale take place until a full environmental analysis is completed.”
Ø A class-action lawsuit has been filed against companies that drill for natural gas in central Arkansas. The suit is asking for millions of dollars in relation to the earthquakes associated with the fracking process the companies use. The damages enumerated in the suit are property damage, loss of fair market value in real estate, emotional distress, and damages related to the purchase of earthquake insurance.
Ø The first community in Maryland, Mountain Lake Park, adopted an ordinance banning corporations from natural gas drilling.
Ø Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler has sent a letter to Chesapeake Energy Corporation and its affiliates, notifying the companies of the State of Maryland's intent to sue for violating the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA).
Ø Governor Martin O'Malley has signed an executive order for a three year moratorium on drilling in MD while studies continue.
Ø The City of Detroit and County of Wayne have passed resolutions banning fracking!. They are the first in the state to do so.
Ø The New Jersey Assembly voted to ban hydraulic fracturing in NJ in a bipartisan overwhelming vote (58 to 11, 8 abstained), following the landslide vote 32-1 earlier in the day by the NJ Senate. New Jersey is the first state legislature to ban fracking. However, Gov. Chris Christie has recommended a one-year ban on a natural gas drilling disappointing citizens who wanted a permanent ban.
Ø In a move that may be more symbolic than substantive, a legislative committee yesterday voted to prohibit New Jersey's sewage treatment plants from accepting wastewater from operations drilling for natural gas in Marcellus Shale deposits in Pennsylvania and other states. The legislation, narrowly approved by the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee, is unlikely to win final legislative approval in the lame duck session, but both proponents of the bill and foes agreed it would send a signal that New Jersey steadfastly opposes the controversial method of extracting natural gas.
Ø North Carolina’s Governor Bev Perdue vetoed a state senate bill that would have allowed fracking in the state.
Ø The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa has banned and wants to stop a federal auction that would open drilling on the north-central North Dakota reservation.
Ø Wellsburg City Council approved an ordinance prohibiting natural gas drilling in or within one mile of the city as concerns mounted about the city's water being contaminated by procedures in hydrofrack drilling. A reservoir serving the city is beside property that Chesapeake Energy is leasing for drilling.
Ø George Washington National Forest has disallowed horizontal drilling for natural gas within its 1.1 million acres of territory while opening up segments of the forest to the potential for wind energy construction.
Ø Texas Gov. Rick Perry has signed a bill requiring drillers to publicly disclose the chemicals they use when extracting oil and gas from dense rock formations, the first state to pass such a law.
Ø Denton City Council enacted a 120 day moratorium against fracking and denying any new gas drilling permits.
Ø Wellsville has banned fracking.
Ø Lewisburg has banned fracking within their city limits.
Ø Morgantown banned fracking in the city and within one mile of the city limits as well. Morgantown is keeping a municipal ban on Marcellus Shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing on the books even though a judge has declared it unconstitutional and unenforceable. The City Council has rejected a motion to rescind the ban for the second time in two months.
British Columbia, Canada:
Ø First Nations people in NW British Columbia enacted a four year moratorium against drilling for natural gas by Royal Dutch Shell in the Sacred Headwaters. Members of the Tahltan First Nation are blockading Shell’s coal bed methane project in the Sacred Headwaters, the birthplace of the Skeena, Nass and Stikine Rivers.
New Brunswick, Canada:
Ø Doaktown Village Council voted to ban natural shale gas hydrofrack drilling. Following determination of the parameters of the aquifers: the Village asked the Province to ban any and all exploration for natural gas, or extraction within or near those well field areas."
Nova Scotia, Canada:
Ø Nova Scotia citizens call for ban on Nova Scotia fracking. Graham Hutchinson says the province should impose a moratorium on the controversial practice. The group recently presented a petition to Energy Minister Charlie Parker calling for a ban.
Ø The Niagara-on-the-Lake town council unanimously passed a resolution calling for a province and nation-wide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and on the treatment of the wastewater by-products of hydraulic fracturing within the Great Lakes Basin. The resolution calls for a dialogue between US, Canadian, and Indigenous governments on the “full consideration of the human and environmental impacts” of fracking and treating fracking wastewater in the Great Lakes.
Ø The Quebec government is putting the brakes on shale-gas drilling and exploration through a province-wide moratorium. “There will be no compromises on health and the environment,” the minister said. Premier Jean Charest has said the development of a shale-gas industry must be done “correctly” or it will not be done at all.
Ø Thousands of people participated in protests against the searches for shale gas, organized in 12 large Bulgarian cities under the slogan "let us wake up, let's protect our land and water!" Demands for a nationwide moratorium, and then the statutory prohibition on the use of fracking technology were voiced in Sofia, Varna, Dobriczu, Plewenie, Szumenie and Burgas.
Ø London, England - A mining company has halted drilling for shale gas in England after scientists said two small earthquakes might be linked to the controversial process, known as "fracking".
Ø A European Union report says “ban fracking.” In a study requested by the European Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, scientists conclude that "at a time when sustainability is key to future operations it can be questioned whether the injection of toxic chemicals in the underground should be allowed, or whether it should be banned as such a practice would restrict or exclude any later use of the contaminated layer... and as long-term effects are not investigated." A spokesperson said… "It is ironic that the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association (PEPANZ) issued a position paper glorifying fracking as the savior of the world's energy problems within hours of a European Union requested study that considers banning the practice outright across Europe"
Ø The French Parliament and Senate have voted to ban hydraulic fracturing or fracking. France is the first country in Europe to ban the controversial practice that involves using 'slick' water a combination of water, chemicals and mud, to fracture the rock with hairline cracks and prop open underground fissures.
Ø Northern Ireland’s Assembly has passed a moratorium on fracking pending an environmental assessment. Counties Sligo and Donegal have voted for a ban.
Ø A countrywide moratorium against hydrofracking has been implemented.
Ø In April, authorities in the Swiss Canton of Fribourg suspended all authorizations to prospect for shale gas on its territory for an undetermined period.
Compiled by Joe Hoff, Chairman of Keuka Citizens Against Hydrofracking
As of February 29, 2012