BRISTOL - There was a large turnout at Tuesday nightâ€™s City Council meeting supporting a new amendment to the Bristol Code of Ordinance prohibiting the storage, disposal and use of fracking waste in the city.
Between 40 and 50 people with red pins on their shirts supporting the amendment attended the meeting and a handful backed it during public participation. When the council adopted the amendment, many members of the public cheered and applauded.
Fracking waste is created in the process of extracting oil and natural gas. The use of hydraulic fracturing - or fracking - produces large amounts of liquid and solid waste that includes a number of pollutants.
The ordinance committee has been working on the amendment that prohibits oil and gas drilling and extraction wastes for the protection of the health, property, safety and welfare of Bristol residents.
It also prohibits the application, storage, disposal, sale, acquisition, transfer, handling, treatment and processing of the waste, in addition to the introduction of natural gas or oil waste into any wastewater or solid-waste management facility in the city.
One of the public participants was Stephanie Beals, president of the local organization, No Frack Waste Bristol. She said, â€śWe no longer have to worry about this happening. Bristol has sent a message to DEEP and the oil and gas lobbies that we want to keep our drinking water safe and that we donâ€™t want fracking oil and gas products within city limits.â€ť
Bristol resident Michelle Saratowski, also backed the amendment. She said, â€śI just want to show support for voting yes on not allowing fracking waste to come into our town.â€ť
The ordinance was adopted as a precautionary measure. Currently, no fracking is happening in the city and there are no companies interested in doing so. However, Jen Siskind noted to the council, that the amendment is pertinent because Clean Harbors of CT, Inc., a disposal treatment center that disposes of bulk amounts of hazardous and non-hazardous material, is located in the city.
â€śAt the last ordinance committee meeting,â€ť Siskind said, â€śthere was an additional clause that was included by the ordinance committee for the purpose of making sure that you donâ€™t exclude anything that you really want in your town.â€ť She then cited examples such as asphalt, tar used for roofing material and waterproofing.
â€śThe language that was included in the ordinance,â€ť Siskind said, â€śhas some loopholes and unfortunately these loopholes would still allow some waste to go to the hazardous waste treatment facility in your town.â€ť She recommended the council â€śpass the ordinance as it is written,â€ť but to change the language â€śto restrict asphalt and other materialsâ€ť â€śin such a way that it doesnâ€™t have any loophole.â€ť
Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 860-973-5088.