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Auburn, NY votes to ban acceptance of gas drilling wastewater at its treatment plant


I am thrilled to let you know that citizen activists and elected officials today won a critical anti-fracking victory in Auburn, NY. The City Council voted 3-1 to ban acceptance of natural gas drilling wastewater at their local municipal wastewater treatment plant. Wahoo. Way to go.

I believe this is the first vote of its kind in the nation and sets a precedent that could be replicated in other communities, notably Sherburne, NY, the location of the last municipal facility accepting contaminated gas drilling wastewater in New York State.

This was a highly controversial and hard-fought effort right up until the final vote. Initially, only three representatives were present, which involved certain critical voting requirements. See Twitter account below. Then a fourth rep showed up. Whew. Next, there was a motion to table the resolution, which did not receive a second. Gulp. Any delay could have been very bad. When the final vote was taken, the crowd burst into wild applause. It was very heartening. I started breathing again.

Mayor Michael Quill and City Council reps Gilda Brower and Thomas McNabb voted "aye." City Council rep Matthew Smith voted against the resolution and William Graney was not present. Remember in November.

Congratulations and thank you very much to Terry and Beth Beer Cuddy, all their CAFA (Cayuga Anti-fracking Alliance) colleagues, Mayor Quill and Councilors Brower and McNabb.

Thanks to everyone else who showed up for the meeting.

This campaign was a direct outgrowth of Ian Urbina's reporting in The New York Times regarding gas drilling wastewater hazards. It ran approximately four months and achieved its goal.


Onward and upward,


Take Action Today:

DEC's revised draft SGEIS would permit gas drilling wastewater to be discharged into municipal treatment plants that are neither designed, constructed nor maintained to handle the high Total Dissolved Solids, petroleum hydrocarbons and radionuclides present in "flowback" and "produced water" or "brine."

Call Governor Cuomo at 518-474-8390.

Email the Governor at

A. Ban Gas Drilling Wastewater Discharges into Publicly Owned Treatment Works. PA and OH reportedly have adopted this critical safeguard. New York should do likewise;

B. Demand Equal Environmental Protection for All New Yorkers From Marcellus Shale Horizontal Hydrofracturing.

C. If Marcellus Shale Hydrofracturing cannot be done safely in New York City and Syracuse watersheds, state lands and over primary aquifers, it obviously cannot be done safely anywhere in New York.

D. Send the draft SGEIS back to the drawing board for yet another do-over.