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Germantown Board approves fracking moratorium

Apr 18, 2012 12:10 am
John Mason reports in the Register Star the Germantown Town Board unanimously approved an 18-month moratorium on hydrofracking Mon., Apr. 16, making it the first municipality in Columbia County to confront the issue so directly. A series of speakers expressed their opposition to the hydrofracking process on environmental and economic grounds. Mason reports approximately 30 people attended the hearing; four spoke in favor of the moratorium, none opposed it. The moratorium was proposed by Supervisor Roy Brown after he learned a local business owner had been approached with a request to his property for activities related to the hydrofracking process. That process involves sending a mixture of water, sand and chemicals deep into the ground to break apart rocks to release natural gas that is captured and brought to the surface. There is legislation currently pending bill before the state Legislature to give local governments the power to enact and enforce law relating to oil, gas and solution mining. Read the full story in the Register Star. Listen to the Germantown Town Board discussion of the proposed hydraulic fracturing moratorium.

On the Mon., Apr. 16 edition of the WGXC Afternoon Show, Sara Kendall spoke with attorney George Rodenhausen and Germantown Supervisor Roy Brown about hydraulic fracturing in New York. The discussion centered on the legal history and context of municipalities prohibiting “fracking" within their borders, Rodenhausen, a partner in the Hudson-based firm Rapport Meyers, defended the town of Middlefield (Ostego County) in case that resulted in a landmark decision that gave municipalities the right to ban fracking within their borders In this interview, Rodenhausen talks about the Middlefield case, and its implications for other municipalities statewide. Kendall also speaks with Roy Brown about the Germantown hearing and the proposed moratorium. The full interview can be found here.
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