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Petition circulating to ban hydrofracking

— Ann Horan is leading a movement against hydrofracking in greater Baldwinsville.

The Village Green resident wants to first educate Lysander and Van Buren residents about the dangers of the controversial process. Then she hopes to encourage action at the local level by obtaining residents’ signatures on a petition to prevent hydrofracking from happening in this area.

“The petition is calling for a ban on hydrofracking in our area, for the purpose of protecting us from the many serious problems the process brings,” Horan said. “Not acting at the local level simply relegates to the state any decision we could have made for ourselves.”

Hydrofracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, is a process in which large amounts of water, combined with smaller amounts of chemicals and sand, are pumped under high pressure into a drilled gas well. The pressure from the water causes tiny fractures in the shale (rock); when the water is removed relieving the pressure, the sand remains behind, propping open the newly created fractures and allowing gas to flow into the well. The technique is controversial because of potential environmental impacts including contamination of ground water, surface contamination from spills and flowback and risks to air quality among other concerns.

According to Horan, approximately 120 towns across the state have bans and moratoriums in place, because municipalities can legally ban hydrofracking.

“[Bans have] been upheld in the court cases of Dryden and Middlefield,” Horan said.

Horan has scheduled a hydrofracking meeting to be held from 5 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, at the Lysander Town Hall, 8220 Loop Road in Radisson. She encourages concerned citizens from Lysander and Van Buren to stop by, share ideas and sign the petition to ban hydrofracking in Lysander and Van Buren.

“This matter is urgent as Gov. Cuomo is being pressured to make a decision very soon as to whether or not we will allow hydrofracking in our state,” Horan said. “Once the decision is made at the state level, it will be too late for towns and villages to enact bans.”

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