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WIN! Niagara Falls rejects fracking wastewater treatment proposal

Niagara Falls is situated on the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario.

Niagara Falls is situated on the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario.

Niagara At Large reports, “Mayor Paul Dyster and his five-member council in Niagara Falls, New York voted unanimously this March 5 to place environmental protection ahead of any monetary gain with a city-wide ban on chemically-contaminated ‘fracking’ waste that would have been discharged through the city’s wastewater treatment plant to the Niagara River.”

“The City of Niagara Falls, New York, which has suffered more than its share of economic blows in recent decades with businesses closing and a steady loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs, could have potentially made tens-of-millions of dollars by opening its wastewater treatment plant up to accepting fracking waste shipped in from other regions of the northern eastern U.S. where the underground extraction of natural gas is underway.”

The Niagara Gazette adds, “Questions remain about the city’s legal standing when it comes to attempting to enforce such a ban against another entity like the water board which operates under a state authority. Recent favorable rulings from a pair of state supreme court justices have offered support to municipalities looking to enforce such bans. The city’s ordinance was crafted from one recently adopted by the city of Buffalo. Council members said they are confident it will survive scrutiny if tested in court.”

The Council of Canadians
“Concerns about the possibility of discharging fracking waste to the Niagara River and Lake Ontario from the Niagara Falls, New York plant have been raised by municipalities in Niagara, Ontario, including Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Catharines, Fort Erie, Welland and Pelham, and by the Ottawa-based citizens group, the Council of Canadians. Several citizen groups in New York State have also been pressing for a ban in the state on anything to do with fracking.”

In late-October 2011, the Council of Canadians backed a motion at Niagara-on-the-Lake town council that called for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and the treatment of fracking wastewater within the Great Lakes Basin. That motion was passed unanimously.

Numerous blogs highlighting our various campaign interventions against the treatment of fracking wastewater in Niagara Falls, New York can be read at http://canadians.org/blog/?s=%22niagara+falls%22.