August 23, 2018

CCM continues push for local fracking-waste bans

With a state-level ban on hydraulic fracturing waste still uncertain, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) stepped up its efforts to enact bans at the municipal level.

CCM on Thursday released a model ordinance for cities and towns that would create a local ban on the use, sale and transport of "fracking waste" -- which is wastewater, sludge and other materials produced as byproducts of a method of extracting natural gas from the earth.

CCM said back in February that more than 30 municipalities have passed fracking-related ordinances, but the organization said that the new model ordinance, drafted by law firm Murtha Cullina, allows for flexibility when performing infrastructure and road projects.

CCM says those types of projects in some towns have been "paralyzed" by other ordinance language it characterized as overly expansive.

The fossil fuel industry has called ban efforts unneeded because Connecticut has no developable oil and natural gas resources.

The legislature issued a three-year moratorium on fracking waste in 2014, requiring the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to issue regulations by July 2018, which hasn't yet happened.

This year, the House passed a bill that would have permanently banned fracking waste. The measure died in the Senate.

"CCM-member leaders have been concerned about this critical issue for some time and worked closely with CCM staff, construction leaders and Murtha Cullina to fashion an acceptable ordinance which will protect towns without any adverse economic development impact locally in any part of the state," CCM Executive Director Joe DeLong said in a statement Thursday.

Correction: A previous headline on this story incorrectly implied that CCM wants municipalities to ban fracking. The organization is pushing for local ordinances related to fracking waste.

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Read CCM's draft fracking ordinance

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