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Spafford extends hydrofracking moratorium

Residents urge outright ban on drilling

— While the moratorium provides Spafford protection from hydrofracking at this time, many residents felt it was not enough of a safeguard.

"Everything we're doing here is the right step"

--Spafford resident Guy Pitman

“This is a moratorium. In my opinion it should be a ban,” resident Frank Moran said. “A moratorium is a delay, as I understand it, and can be changed at any time. I don’t think the moratorium is strong enough.”

Germain said there is nothing preventing the town from passing another law or attempting to ban hydrofracking, but that is was not the law before the community at this time.

However, an overwhelming number of residents expressed feelings that outright banning of the drilling method is in the best interest of the town.

“I think if we had had our way, we would have asked for a ban,” said resident Anita Williams. “If you approve the moratorium tonight, move very quickly on a ban.”

Williams, a member of the Otisco Lake Preservation Association, did applaud the town for the work it is doing with the moratorium.

Mark Sinay, a resident who is frequently in Pennsylvania for work, said he has seen firsthand “the chaos, mess, destruction, the almost lawlessness down there” caused by drilling companies.

Resident Guy Pitman, who drives for a living, has also seen the destruction in Pennsylvania towns that have permitted hydrofracking.

“Everything we’re doing here is the right step,” Pitman said, but questioned why the moratorium before the board was limited to one year rather than approving an open-ended law.

Germain said it is up to the board how long a moratorium is in place, but there is no reason why they can’t come back in a year and extend it again.

“Because we had a six-month moratorium, we were able to change the language,” Councilor Chris Fesko said.

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