The City Council of Niagara Falls is not accustomed to getting standing ovations at their meetings, but last night, they got two of them. As reported in the Niagara Gazette:
City lawmakers received something on Monday that they don’t receive very often, if at all — not one, but two standing ovations.
The first applause followed the council’s unanimous vote in favor of a new law that bans hydrofracking-related activities, including the treatment of so-called “fracking” waste, within city limits.
The second came after the council agreed to send a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo asking him to impose a statewide moratorium on the controversial natural extraction process until more is known about its impact on public health and the environment.
This is particularly significant, as the underutilized wastewater plant in Niagara Falls, built to handle industrial wastewater of a different era and draining away from New York toward Canada, had been widely touted as the “answer” to disposal of fracking wastewater. Particularly following the closure of Ohio injection wells, which is where fracking wastewater from Pennsylvania had been trucked after it was found that fracking wastewater disposed of through Pennsylvania municipal wastewater treatment plants was causing unacceptably high levels of radiation in some Pennsylvania rivers. Ohio injection wells have been closed down, due to the induced earthquakes being caused by the injection process.
As New Yorkers learn more about the impact of hydrofracking, more municipal-level governments are taking action to protect their citizens. The latest map of such activity (with thanks to Karen Edelstein for mapping):