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Erie County Legislature Democratic Leader Betty Jean Grant Statement Concerning Release of NYS Study that Effectively Prohibits Hydraulic Fracturing in New York State

Buffalo, NY- Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant (D-Buffalo), Democratic Leader of the Erie County Legislature, applauds the release this afternoon of a NYS Health Department study that effectively bans hydraulic fracturing in New York State. 

As Chairwoman of the Erie County Legislature in 2013, Betty Jean Grant was the lead sponsor of a local law that outlawed hydraulic fracturing on land owned by Erie County.  The law, which was approved by County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, also prohibits the storage, disposal, or treatment of natural gas waste and fracturing fluids or solids by any wastewater treatment facility owned or operated by Erie County, prohibits the purchase or acquisition of such materials by Erie County, and prohibits the application of any of these products to construct or maintain any road owned or maintained by Erie County.  

The Erie County local law was passed by the Legislature on December 12, 2013 by a 9-2 vote.  The passage of this sensible and forward thinking local law by Erie County sent Albany a strong message that local citizens demand clean air, water and healthy communities.

“The results of the highly-anticipated New York State health department study on hydraulic fracturing clearly reaffirms what we have been saying all along in Erie County,” said Erie County Legislature Democratic Leader Betty Jean Grant .  “We sent the message to Albany that hydraulic fracturing, and the byproducts of the fracking process, are very harmful and that public policy reflecting the grave concerns, as demonstrated in this study, should be implemented,” Legislator Grant added.

“I am also heartened that Governor Andrew Cuomo initiated this important study, and that the governor directed that the State health department complete a thorough and extensive analysis, which the health department certainly followed through on,” Legislator Grant said.

“This study also ratifies the local law passed by the Erie County Legislature last year – and signed into law by County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz (D-Buffalo) – that banned hydraulic fracturing on land owned by Erie County, as well as banning the transportation of fracking waste on Erie County-owned roadways.  As the lead sponsor of the Erie County local law, I am hopeful that now that this years-long study has been released, that Albany policy-makers will take the lead in advancing legislation in the NYS Legislature that would outlaw hydraulic fracturing throughout the State of New York,” Legislator Grant continued. 

“I also wish to thank Rita Yelda of Food & Water Watch, and the other concerned citizens who brought this issue to the forefront,” Legislator Grant concluded.