Township in NY Finger Lakes Region Votes to Ban Hydraulic Fracturing for One Year

The town of Barrington, NY (Yates County), in New York’s Finger Lakes region, has voted to approve a temporary moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the township for a one year period to give it time to develop new zoning laws to deal with possible Marcellus Shale drilling, should the New York State moratorium be lifted.

The town of Barrington now joins Milo and Jerusalem in approving a moratorium on hydrofracking.

The Barrington board passed the measure, lasting one year, at the Wednesday, June 22, meeting. However, before it is active the moratorium needs to go before the Yates County Planning Board. The town will also need to hold a public hearing on it next month, Wednesday, July 13, at 7 p.m.

Barrington planning board chairperson Sue Lange asked the board to approve the moratorium. She said the planning board needs the extra year to get the new zoning codes and road regulation approved. Lange added the state may be done with its Marcellus Shale drilling rules by July 1 and could be issuing drilling permits a month after that. She explained once the state issues a drilling permit, the company is only bound by the rules on the book at the time.

Current state law stipulates that local laws cannot supersede state laws with respect to oil and gas drilling, so the legality of the new measure will likely be challenged in court should the state moratorium finally end.

*The Observer (accessed Jun 29, 2011) – Barrington approves hydrofracking moratorium