Marcellus bans gas and petroleum exploration in town
Town of Marcellus, NY – The Marcellus town board voted unanimously Monday to ban the exploration and production of natural gas and petroleum in the town.
By a 5-0 vote, the board passed a local law amending its zoning codes to prevent “ all exploration and production of natural gas and petroleum in the town,” Supervisor Daniel J. Ross said this morning.
The law is similar to legislation passed in the towns of Onondaga, Skaneateles and Spafford, he said. Marcellus’ moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, commonly called hydrofracking, expires this month. The method uses pressurized fluid to crack rock layers to extract the natural gas trapped inside.
The town board was encouraged by lower court rulings in lawsuits filed by Dryden and Middletown that gave the state the right to regulate the process of exploration and extraction, but gave the towns the power to ban the industry, Ross said . . .
There are still a lot of unanswered environmental questions, as well as concerns about fracking’s effect on public and private water supplies, he said.