It sends a message: Your town does not want to be fracked, dumped on, poisoned or gassed.
There may not be any natural gas worth drilling beneath the Town of Mamakating in eastern Sullivan County — if there’s any gas located there at all.
And Gov. Andrew Cuomo may have put the natural-gas extraction method of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on indefinite hold while the state studies its impact on health — and waits for the November election to be over.
But that didn’t stop Mamakating from banning fracking — and related fracking activities — at a Town Board meeting a few weeks ago.
That makes it the sixth Sullivan County town — along with Tusten, Lumberland, Bethel, Highland and Forestburgh — to do so.
Mamakating Supervisor Bill Herrmann said it was unlikely that any gas company would set sights on his town.
“We really don’t think it would happen here,” he says.
But if it does occur anywhere in the region, he and other board members don’t want the chemically-laced fracking fluids to be transported on town roads.
They also didn’t want fracking byproducts such as brine to be used as a de-icer on those roads or parking lots.
“So we passed the ban,” he says.
Local bans have carried even more legal weight since June, when the state Appellate Court upheld a lower court’s decision that towns may ban fracking.