Another New York town votes to ban fracking for one year. Not that it makes a hill of beans worth of difference. The town board for Enfield, in Tompkins County, New York, voted last Wednesday to ban fracking:
The town board voted at its regular meeting Wednesday night to enact a moratorium on any gas drilling development for an entire year, to give the Town of Enfield time to shore up its legal and legislative protections.
The vote, in front of about 30 residents, was unanimous in favor of the moratorium, although several board members originally had objections to the law. Enfield joins around a hundred other municipalities across the state that have put into effect bans or moratoria on gas drilling, in part over concerns about the safety of the process of hydraulic fracturing.
Supervisor Roy Barriere said the passage of the law buys the town time to finish working on initiatives that will protect residents from potential harmful effects of the gas drilling industry.
"The next move is the site plan review law; that’s hopefully up for a vote in August," Barriere said. "It will control any large development in the town. That’s important to have that."
The town is also pursuing a study of local aquifers to inform a proposed aquifer protection law, as well as working on a road protection law with other local towns and county government.*
Why doesn’t this particular vote make any difference? Because Tompkins County is not one of the Lucky Five counties who will get fracking in New York if and when it begins. Those counties include Chemung, Chenango, Steuben, Tioga and Broome.
Still, it’s a shame to see a few elected leaders vote to strip away the property rights of all of their citizens. Hopefully people like Roy Barriere get tossed at the next election.
*Binghamton (NY) Press & Sun-Bulletin (Jun 15, 2012) – Enfield enacts gas drilling ban for one year