A standing room-only crowd at Andover Town Hall last night cast a unanimous vote to pass a local ordinance banning fracking waste.
The meeting was called after local resident Maria Tulman circulated a legal petition seeking to ban all oil & gas drilling and extraction wastes, which includes fracking wastes. Food & Water Watch and Eastern CT Green Action supported the effort.
The ordinance prohibits the application of wastes on any road or real property within the town of Andover. Storage, disposal, sale, acquisition, handling, treatment and/or processing of waste within the town, or at any waste water or solid waste facility is not accepted. All by-products, whether or not they receive Beneficial Use Determination permits from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) in the future are also prohibited.
"Andover residents have great pride in their town, and don't want to see it contaminated by toxic, radioactive fracking waste," Food & Water Watch Local Coordinator Jen Siskind. "They made a smart choice to protect their property values, natural resources and the health of their community. Radium 226 has a half-life of 1,600 years, and decays into other hazardous materials, such as polonium and lead. It is known to cause breast, bone and liver cancers, aplastic anemia and is associated with adult and childhood leukemia. The chemicals known in fracking waste also cause cancers, multiple organ damage, neurological impairment, birth defects, sterility and developmental health problems. Bravo to Maria Tulman and Andover residents for protecting their community."
Four other Connecticut towns have passed similar waste bans (Washington, Coventry, Mansfield, and Portland), with more likely to come. Branford town leaders will vote on a similar ordinance on October 12 at Branford Fire Headquarters, and Windham and Willimantic residents have scheduled a public hearing on Tuesday, Oct 18 at 6 pm at Windham Town Hall.