County fracking ban helps protect citizens

The Erie County Legislature took an important vote recently by passing a ban against fracking and fracking waste in our county. Erie County Legislature Chairwoman Betty Jean Grant, who steered the legislation, stood up for the people and deserves to be applauded. Residents clearly expressed their support for this ban against fracking and its toxic waste products. Many of us attended hearings and spoke out in favor of the ban, and thousands signed petitions. The grass-roots opposition to fracking continues to grow across our state, nation and world as the science and gas industry’s track record becomes more well-known.

The more studies conducted and released, the clearer it has become that fracking and its waste have no place in Erie County or the rest of our state. It would be detrimental to our health, and it would leave permanent damage. Study after study has shown examples where fracking contaminated water with toxic chemicals and methane leaks. In many cases, we don’t even know which chemicals are being used because the industry hides behind secrecy, with exemptions to the Clean Air and Water acts and other federal regulations.

That is why it was so important that the legislation also forbid fracking waste from our county. A recent study found the presence of chemicals linked to infertility, birth defects and cancer at Colorado fracking sites. If Rep. Chris Collins were truly representing the people, he would be speaking out and working to end the loopholes for the gas industry instead of doing its bidding by criticizing this common-sense legislation.

Judy Fitzgerald