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VeRSE Demands Fracking Moratorium

Concerned residents in Vestal are looking for a fracking ban of their own.
Concerned residents in Vestal are looking for a fracking ban of their own.

Members of Vestal Residents for Safe Energy, or VeRSE, plan to attend tonight's Vestal Town Board meeting to once again press board members to pass a moratorium or ban on hydrofracking.

The volunteer group says it has collected 2,500 petition signatures from Vestal residents in support of a moratorium.

They say board members previously cited a concern over potential lawsuits as a reason not to consider a ban.

But now that New York's highest court has ruled that municipalities can use zoning and land use rules to ban the controversial gas drilling process, VeRSE wants the board to reconsider.

"The urgency comes with the possibility that Governor Cuomo, who recently has said that he's willing to experiment with fracking in the Southern Tier, may lift the ban just in this region. If that's done before we have a local ban, that means we become guinea pigs," said member Phil Kraft.

Kraft says he believes fracking will contaminate groundwater, create air pollution and cause other quality of life issues.
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