Feb 8, 2011
(Reuters) – The
city of Buffalo banned the natural gas drilling technique of hydraulic
fracturing on Tuesday in a largely symbolic vote that fuels debate over
the potential harm to ground water from mining an abundant energy
The city council voted 9-0 to
prohibit natural gas extraction including the process known as
“fracking” in which chemicals, sand and water are blasted deep into the
earth to fracture shale formations and allow gas to escape.
The ordinance also bans storing, transferring, treating or disposing fracking waste within the city.
such drilling projects had been planned in Buffalo, though city
officials were concerned that fracking waste water from nearby
operations was reaching the city sewer system.
of the measure hope it will help build pressure against fracking, which
environmentalists claim endangers ground water from leaking chemicals.
Pittsburgh, Penn., has enacted a similar ban.
supporters say fracking is proven safe and natural gas from sources can
provide a much-needed domestic energy source. For an index of shale gas
companies, double-click on.
Marcellus Shale formation underlies much of Pennsylvania and parts of
surrounding states including western New York. Geologists estimate it
could supply U.S. natural gas demand for 20 years or more.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is studying the impact of
fracking and on Tuesday submitted a draft of its study to the agency’s
Science Advisory Board for review.
Initial Findings from the study are expected to be made public by the end of 2012.
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