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New voices in opposition to fracking surface

WBFO News file photo

With the moratorium on natural gas hydrofracking in New York State due to be ended soon, some prominent voices in opposition are surfacing.

Erie County Legislature Chair woman Betty Jean Grant held a public forum Thursday night in the Merriweather Library in Buffalo on the controversial method of fracturing underground rock to produce gas.

Grant told the crowd there is evidence of water pollution and earthquakes as sand and chemicals are forced into gas-bearing rock to fracture it.

Supporters say fracking produces jobs and gas in this country and there is a lot of it in New York, especially in the Southern Tier on the state line with Pennsylvania where there is a lot of fracking and resulting employment.

Grant said Albany needs to know there are opponents in this area.

"We want the governor to know and also those regulators who are there that there's concerns in Western New York and particularly Buffalo about fracking and particularly waste water that will be disposed of as well as those individuals in rural areas who have well water. T here's a high probability that if fracking is done near those well water reservoirs that water could be contaminated," said Grant.

The City of Buffalo has already barred fracking in city limits.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.