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LAKE GEORGE — The Town Board on Sept. 11 voted to adopt a zoning amendment that bans the drilling procedure known as fracking or, more formally, hydraulic fracturing.

The town in September 2014 passed a three-year moratorium on fracking. That expired on Sept. 7 and board members wanted to get something permanent on the books.

Committee member George Mathewson appeared before the Town Board again to make a plea for the law. He had spoken before the board in August, but it did not act because the law had to be reviewed by the Adirondack Park Agency.

Mathewson said that, while the Marcellus Shale does not extend this far north into New York, he wanted to make sure the community was protected from any other fracking-related activities, including dumping of wastewater created through the drilling.

He cited news article that 600,000 tons of fracking waste from Pennsylvania has been dumped in New York state landfills.

Also, trucks have been siphoning water from lakes and streams and transporting it to states where fracking is allowed to use in fracking.

He said he also worries about trucks traveling on town roads that are carrying drilling byproducts.

“We felt it was necessary to recommend passage of this law,” he said.

“It’s designed to protect the people, the drinking water and the lake itself from pollution,” he said.

Fracking waste can be harmful to the environment, he said.

“There’s not a single wastewater system in New York that is designed to get rid of these fracking fluids,” he said.

The proposed local law amends Chapter 175-49 of the town code, saying that no fracking shall be allowed within any zoning district. The ban includes gas or oil mining, extraction, storage or injection of well fracking wastewater, petroleum exploration, hydraulic fracturing, high volume fracturing or any related practices involving gas or oil drilling.

The law prohibits use of injection wells in the town of Lake George. It also bans use of town roads for any fracking related purposes or by any trucks transporting water weighing in excess of 5,000 pounds.

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You can read Michael Goot’s blog “A Time to Learn” at www.poststar.com or his updates on Twitter @ps_education.


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