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City of Buffalo Bans Fracking

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posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 10:25 PM

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The city of Buffalo is now the first municipality in the state to ban the controversial practice of fracking, which is used during the extraction of natural gas. Tuesday, the Common Council voted unanimously in support of the ordinance, called "Buffalo's Community Protection From Natural Gas Extraction." Pittsburgh is the only other major American city to ban fracking. Buffalo's ordinance goes a step further, also prohibiting the disposal of "fracking fluid" and other wastes produced during the extraction process. Members of the city council in Pittsburgh sent a video message congratulating Buffalo's Common Council and citizens for their ban. Common Councilmember Joseph Golombek, who sponsored the ordinance, said he was skeptical of the dangers until local activists and other proponents of fracking stated educating him on the topic several months ago. "I want to thank the activists for being involved," Golombek said. "Because you really brought it to us and really worked with us and gave me more information about fracking then I ever knew about." Former State Senator Antoine Thompson, who drafted state legislation to ban hydro-fracking that was veteod, was also in attendance. Those behind the ordinance hope it will influence other cities and municipalities across New York to take similar measures. "I hope that this aides them in sending that message that New York State doesn't want this," Rita Yelda, organizer of Frack Action Buffalo, said. "The second largest city in New York just came out saying that we don't want fracking here." Frack Action Buffalo is also pursuing a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing. Currently, a moratorium is in place that halts the practice of horizontal fracking until July 1, due to an executive order signed by Governor David Paterson. The moratorium does not restrict vertical fracturing, which is currently taking place in many areas of the state. In addition to groundwater contamination, Buffalo lawmakers are also concerned with fracking's effects on the Great Lakes. "We know it's a business," Richard Fontana, councilmember for Buffalo's Lovejoy District, said. "We know it creates some jobs, but we think the benefits don't outweigh the negatives in this situation. It's just too dangerous to the water supplies."

posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 10:29 PM
Just saw this in recent local news and thought I would share it. What I found interesting in the article amongst other things is this statement here.

"We know it creates some jobs, but we think the benefits don't outweigh the negatives in this situation. It's just too dangerous to the water supplies."

And the concern that many people have with it's effects on the great lakes. Smart move on their part just a little to late to worry about the water supplies around here in my opinion though. As we have already suffered through Love Canal, Manhattan Project, amongst many other military endeavors that have done the damage already on the water table.

posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 10:56 PM
reply to post by jaynkeel

"We know it creates some jobs, but we think the benefits don't outweigh the negatives in this situation. It's just too dangerous to the water supplies."

That says so much, one has to weigh it all out and sometimes jobs/growth have to put the brakes on, at least temporarily until safer measures are insured.
I am glad to hear of two major cities claiming their own well being. A question I would have for those that say fracking is more good than bad is, "Would you want one in your backyard?" Most people are not aware of what fracking is. I did a thread a while back HERE that within has some details about the procedures.


posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 12:05 AM
Bout time Buffalo did something right....First time for everything.
edit on 2/9/2011 by lonegurkha because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 12:51 AM
reply to post by speculativeoptimist

The sad part is if Im not mistaken about an hours drive south of the city they are doing it. I will have to verify but I am pretty sure on it.

posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 01:17 AM
Fracking smart move!

posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 04:37 AM
fracking has just started around locations in blackpool uk. if water tables are at risk then i would assume a risk assessment should have been carried out. with the evidence mounting in the usa regarding pollution i will be keeping an eye on the blackpool ops. as this had to go through various stages of planning and approval i wonder if the council know about the american situation.
regards f
edit on 9-2-2011 by fakedirt because: bad grammer in bad grammar

posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 04:55 AM
well, i decided to contact the environmental dept in blackpool council and i have supplied them with the link to the ban in buffalo. i await a response from them and i will post it here if and when.
regards f

posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 06:20 AM
Forgive my inappropriate humour - but as a fan of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, where the term spelt 'frakking' has a completely different meaning, I so misunderstood this thread title!
(Mods, please feel free to delete this OT if I am in violation, I just couldn't help myself..)

posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 10:32 AM
reply to post by jaynkeel

My understanding is that they are fighting it in the southern tier,because the people in Pa. across the state border told the folks in the southern tier all kinds of horror stories about the pollution and destruction of the forest supposedly it causes all kinds of contamination of the water table as well as producing some rather nasty pollution above ground.I guess that the chemicals used are very toxic.At least that's what I've heard from people I know down there.
edit on 2/9/2011 by lonegurkha because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 10:50 AM
reply to post by lonegurkha

As many of them depend on well water it does make sense. Don't know if anyone watches Vegas csi but I remember an episode not to long ago that delt with fracking, and what it did to the town down there. I know just a tv show but interesting none the less. Found a clip of the episode.

posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 12:22 PM

Originally posted by Vicky32
as a fan of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, where the term spelt 'frakking' has a completely different meaning,
I thought the same I bad too?

Changing one letter can make a difference, we're allowed to say "shut" but not supposed to say another word with only one letter different. So yeah it's frakking on Battlestar Galactica but fracking with a "c" here, which I suppose is short for hydraulic fracturing?

So far I've just read the wiki (though I have some experience in the oil and gas industry, but I've been in another industry for a while):

An estimated 90 percent of the natural gas wells in the US use hydraulic fracturing to produce gas at economic rates.

Well if that's true then they're among the small minority of 10% not doing it. Have there been demonstrated problems at the other 90% and if so why are they still doing it? The only thing the wiki mentions is 14 homes' drinking water affected in Dimock PA.

the U.S. Congress has requested that the EPA undertake a new, broader study of hydraulic fracturing. The report is due to be released in 2012.

My guess is that it's probably as safe or safer than the deepwater drilling that created a big accident. Well we see how that turned out, but it can be done safely, they just took some shortcuts in the gulf of Mexico and it then became unsafe. Hydraulic fracturing is probably the same way, if don'e properly, it's probably pretty safe.

I'm not sure I agree with the concerns and I'm not sure I'd have a problem with fracking in my backyard (they're probably already doing it where I live, I'm among the 90% of areas that do it, not the 10% that don't). Why?

Because I'm not all that convinced of the safety of drinking well water anyway, even without fracking, so I'd probably drink bottled water and shower with the well water if I had a well. There are literally thousands of other possible contamination sources for well water besides fracking. And if the only evidence they have for the problems with fracking is one town where 14 homes were affected, it seems like the danger is blown out of proportion to me.

When the EPA report is released in 2012 we'll see what they say about the safety. In the meantime, the best approach is probably to learn from the deepwater horizon accident that oil companies can't always be trusted to do the right and safe thing, and that probably what we need is more regulation to make sure they do it safely. I'm not sure bans are the answer.

If fracking was really such a big problem, I think we'd have a lot more reports of issues in the 90% of cases where it's already being done, don't you think so?
edit on 9-2-2011 by Arbitrageur because: fix typo

posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 12:31 PM
My guess is when the New Madrid lets loose there will be someone on the wrong end of the disaster knowing in their hearts they attempted to do something even if it will not change the state of affairs.

Fracking disasterous! What used to be banned, but then lifted by Bush and Cheney is an outrage; this alone I consider a crime against Humanity and the Environment, purposeful with intent to serve themselves. A Crime!

posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 02:29 PM
name and contact numbers have been altered for display purpose only

From: (fakedirt)
Sent: 09 February 2011 10:53
To: Customer First
Subject: environmental dept re:hydraulic fracturing process

Dear Sir/Madam,
I watched a news article this morning regarding the shale drilling
in locations around Blackpool.
I appreciate that rigorous planning procedures and safety assessments are required to
satisfy officials prior to confirmation of any operations however, are you familiar with
the American situation where ground water has been contaminated and in one region an
overwhelming vote against these operations has come into force?
I have supplied a link for your consideration.

I look forward to any replies.
Yours Sincerely,

and the reply

Dear (fakedirt)

Thank you for your email dated 09/02/11

You would need to contact the Health & Safety Executive office which is based
in Preston, their website can be found here & their telephone
number is 01xxx 836xxx

If you have any further queries, please contact Customer First by:-


Telephone 01xxx 477xxx

Facsimile 01xxx 478xxx

Web site

Or visit the Customer First Centre on Corporation Street Blackpool FY1 1NA.

We are open:-

Monday to Friday 8am to 5:30pm for Face to Face enquiries

Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm for telephone enquiries on 01xxx 47xxxx.

Saturdays 9am to 2pm for Face to Face and Telephone enquiries

Please note our busiest times are Mondays and Fridays and over lunchtime (12pm to 2pm).

next step is to get info from the hse as to risk assessment.
regards f

posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 05:15 PM
reply to post by fakedirt

Defiantly good luck with your info sharing I hope it helps to inform some people who like myself knew little about it before.

posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 07:43 PM
This industry drilling procedure should be exposed to the general public for the pollution and damage it causes to the local ground water tables. Contrary to how it's additionally being touted as the newest solution for US dependency on foreign oil, it is not a benign method of extracting either gas, or oil. More people need to know about this.

posted on Feb, 10 2011 @ 04:15 AM
reply to post by jaynkeel

i have emailed the hse for a foi (freedom of information) request. the paperwork on this i suspect is massive so hopefully something will come down the pipe sooner or later.
Many thanks to the OP for bringing this to the members attention.

regards f

posted on Feb, 10 2011 @ 02:09 PM
A little relative info on dangers of natural gas production:

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A natural gas explosion rocked a downtown neighborhood overnight, leveling two houses and spawning fires that burned for hours through an entire row of neighboring homes. Three people were killed, including an infant, and at least two others were unaccounted for Thursday.

A routine leak-detection check of the gas main that serves the area on the day before the explosion found no problems, a spokesman for a utility said.

There's no history of leaks for that section of 12-inch cast-iron main, and there were no calls about gas odors before the explosion, said Joe Swope of Reading-based UGI Utilities Inc.

The utility used foam to seal the gas main on both ends of a one-block area at about 3:45 a.m. Thursday. It took crews some time to cut through reinforced concrete underneath the pavement, Swope said.

So even if everything appears to be buttoned down and operating normally, this can still happen. Scary stuff....


posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 12:23 PM
i received a reply from the hse infoline

Dear (fakedirt)

Thank you for your enquiry regarding shale drilling.

Infoline is unable to respond to your enquiry as it requires a specialist
response. Therefore it has been forwarded for reply to:

Bill Miller
Offshore Safety Division
Health and Safety Executive
Lord Cullen House
Fraser Place
AB25 3UB

and then a further reply.

Dear (fakedirt)

Your enquiry has been passed to me.

I can confrim that the the Health and Safety Executive is aware of the controversy in the USA about the extraction of gas from shale and the allegations of contamination resulting from associated hydraulic fracturing.

For all UK oil and gas exploration and development activities, including shale gas, there is a comprehensive
regulatory framework to ensure that operations are properly licensed and controlled. Companies seeking to
explore for or extract onshore oil or gas must obtain :

exploration licences, under the Petroleum Act 1998, from The Department for Energy and Climate Change, which
authorises each particular drilling and development activity permission from The Environment Agency or the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, who regulate discharges to the environment and are statutory consultees in the planning process planning permission from the Local Authority.
The Health and Safety Executive is not involved in the permissioning process. Nevertheless a company seeking to drill for shale gas will have notified us of the work it plans to undertake both for the drilling of the
borehole and extraction activity that will follow. Regulations will require them to have a safety document
for managing the site, including how they will handle any emergency situations. We require weekly updates
on drilling progress and can make inspections to ensure that safety plans are being followed. As with all
workplace operations, the responsibility for getting safety right rests with the duty holders.

The main health and safety regulations that are specific to onshore shale gas drilling in Great Britain are

Offshore Installation and Wells (Design and Construction, etc) Regulations 1996 - DCR
Borehole Sites and Operations Regulations 1995 – BSOR
DCR, which applies to wells both onshore and offshore, includes a requirement for assessment of the geological
strata through which the well will pass and any fluids and hazards that they may contain and to keep the assessment under review. Both the design and construction of the well and any procedures such as hydraulic fracturing must be such that there can be no unplanned escape of fluids, including gas, from the well (including into any aquifer).
In the event that chemicals are used in the hydraulic fracturing process it is the operator’s responsibility, as
part of compliance with the Control of Substance Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) to assess if materials used in operations present a risk to the health and safety of their workforce, or to members of the public,The operator is also expect to manage those risks.

Donald Dobson

Donald Dobson
Head of Discipline - Well Engineering and Operations
Offshore Division
Health & Safety Executive
Lord Cullen House
Fraser Place
Aberdeen AB25 3UB

it seems the hse are aware of the situation in the usa. if i am not mistaken, this may be the first attempt at shale extraction in the uk. i will be following the operations of the drilling company over the coming months. i do intend to contact them with regards to a site visit.
regards f

to the op. many thanks for allowing me to furnish this thread with information regarding uk operations.

posted on Feb, 12 2011 @ 06:17 PM
reply to post by fakedirt

Anytime. I will keep an eye or an ear out for this locally and update as more info comes to light.

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