Fracking Debate in Town of Chenango
10/1/2012 (Updated 11:07:51 PM)(Source: Kate Thornton)
The Chenango Forks High School auditorium was packed for the public hearing on Local Law #3, a moratorium on hydrofracking within the Town of Chenango.
More than a hundred people signed up to speak before the Chenango Town Board Monday night. Each speaker was limited to three minutes to address the board.
The room was pretty evenly split between those in favor and against gas drilling.
Andriane Sumner, a Town of Chenango resident spoke in favor of the moratorium. Sumner used to live in Pennsylvania near a gas well. "I had to move out of the house because the migraines and the lack of sleep was causing so many problems," said Sumner. "I'm now having to pay for rent here in New York and a mortgage on a house in Pennsylvania that won't sell because of course no one wants to purchase it."
Sumner said she moved to New York to get away from fracking, and fears she will have to go through it again.
On the other side of the debate are those who are against the moratorium and would like to see gas drilling happen in Broome County.
Zach Tarnowski from the Town of Chenango spoke to the board about how fracking could provide a great financial opportunity for the area. "It is in the best interest of the state, Broome County, and the Town of Chenango to approve this fracking and removal of natural gas from beneath our feet because it's going to leave us with a future."
The board will allow 30 days for anyone to write in a comment.
Deputy Supervisor Russ Hemedinger said the board will decide whether to have a vote on the moratorium or not.
"It's something we're considering because we know that gas exploration effects a lot of residents in the town," said Hemedinger . "So, we're considering it but we don't know if we're going to pass it or not."
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