The Fenner Town Board has received a lot of community feedback and concern during the past month about its June resolution to oppose New York state’s Clean Water Act Resolution, with many residents asking board members why they oppose clean water, Town Supervisor Dave Jones said during the board’s July 10 regular monthly meeting.
Jones made a brief statement at the meeting that what the board opposes is the specific language of the law that, not its intent — an opposition shared by the New York Farm Bureau, the National Association of Counties and six Upstate New York Congressional members.
“It’s the verbiage of the law that needs to be changed; and the state is looking into it,” Jones said. “It’s not that we oppose clean water.”
The Clean Water Act resolution was created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps Engineers to ensure that only clean water flows into the Chesapeake Bay, New York state’s water outlet. The law has come under fire, however, for its confusing language and the fact that it would require not just municipalities but also farmers to obtain permits for simple and everyday actions such as cleaning out ditches and draining standing water.
The Fenner Town Board members stated that the new rule would create unnecessary and burdensome interference by the federal government.
It was reported last week that EPA officials have recently agreed with the criticisms and said the proposed rule needs clarification.
Also at the meeting, the board unanimously agreed to submit a letter of support for the Cazenovia Preservation Foundation’s current efforts to obtain a Farmland Protection Grant for the Pushlar Farm, located on Fenner Road, the acreage of which is located in both the towns of Cazenovia and Fenner. The grant would protect the farm’s land from any future subdivision for non-agricultural uses in perpetuity.
It was incorrectly reported in the June 25 issue of the Cazenovia Republican that the Fenner Town Planning Board was in need of a new member. The vacant position is on the Board of Assessment Review, not the planning board. The planning board does not have a vacancy at this time. Anyone interested in being considered for a seat on the BAR should call the town office at 655-2705.
The endorsement does not require any time, effort or funding on the part of the town, said CPF Director Judy Gianforte, who appeared before the board to explain and request the board’s support. “It all goes back to protecting the soil,” Gianforte said.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.