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Gensee County Fish and Game Association

October 19, 2012 - 3:04pm

There are no known plans to open a hydrofracked gas well within the town limits of Stafford, but Jim Southall thought it a good idea to purchase an "insurance policy" so to speak.

At his suggest, the town board has passed a one-year moratorium on hydrofracking within Stafford.

A committee has been appointed to study the issue, according to Supervisor Robert Clement and that report will help the town determine what, if anything, it might do next related to hydrofracking.

The moritorium is part of a statewide trend over the summer of local officials throughout New York rising up against hydrofracking, even though the state already has a four-year moratorium against new wells in place now.

Fracking involves injecting water, saline and other chemicals into shale to break loose natural gas deposits that can then be extracted from the ground.

It's controversial because opponents believe the chemicals used can be carcinogenic and toxic.

Southall said he's read of cows in West Virginia being born with deformities and a whole town in Wyoming had to be closed because of hydrofracking pollutants ruining the groundwater.

As a representative of the Genesee County Fish and Game Association, owners and operators of Godfrey's Pond in Stafford, Southall thought it important to get out in front of the issue, before hydrofracking came to the area.

"With the kind of chemicals they're using, once the water is polluted, it's gone, and being a conservation club, we want to be sure that doesn't happen," Southall said.

At a public hearing on the topic a month or so ago, Clement said, there were no speakers in favor or against the moratorium.

He's not aware of any fracked wells in Stafford or any requests to open up such a well.

"For most people, I think it's a non-issue," Clement said. "I think the state will step in before anybody else does. But it's a conservation issue and I think most of them (Genesee County Fish and Game) are against it."

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