The Town of Stafford became the first local community to ban hydrofracking within its borders with a 4-0 vote of the board on Monday night following a public hearing where every speaker supported the ban.
Fracking involves using hydraulic force, with a mixture of water, chemicals and sand, to extract gas from shale. The technique is controversial. Opponents believe the process generates soil and water contamination.
"This is the wisest, the safest and the best thing to do for our community for many years to come," said resident Judy Manly.
Another speaker, who didn't provide her name, said it was up to Stafford to protect itself because the town can't count on the legislature or governor to ban it and current state Department of Environemtnal Conservation regulations could easily be overturned by another administration.
"Passing this law in our town is a safety measure that we absolutely need," she said.
Three years in the making, the law prohibits extraction, exploration, storage of wastes, and other activities in connection with underground injections for petroleum or gas production within the Town of Stafford limits.