The Town of Union is considering a petition that would ban fracking in the area. A group of residents on Western Heights Boulevard submitted the petition earlier this month. Our Melissa Kakareka tells us why.
UNION, N.Y. -- Western Heights Boulevard is the site of about 60 homes in the Town of Union. And it's also the main road leading to a 585 acre plot of land leased to Chesapeake Energy for future gas drilling.
"With the prospect of the governor and DEC allowing drilling pretty soon, this neighborhood, which is the Glen Park West Homeowners Association, felt like we had to do something to protect ourselves from all the traffic that would be associated with drilling," said Western Heights resident Steve Briggs.
One hundred percent of the people in the residential neighborhood have submitted a petition to the town board asking for a ban on fracking in Union, as well as a five ton vehicle limit on their road. They are worried about the increased truck traffic, as well as the effects of drilling in such a populated area.
"The Town of Union has 1,500 to 1,600 people per square mile, that compared to Bradford County which has 50 to 55 people per square mile. So anything that happens in this town is going to affect a lot more people, so we don't think it belongs in the town," said Briggs.
Town officials say they are currently gathering information and have invited several speakers to their work sessions to learn more about the process. They are also planning a trip to Towanda, Pennsylvania in the future.
"This is a very important decision but we certainly are spending quite a bit a time in review of it at this point. We're reaching out and we're trying to listen to all sides and opinions," said Union Deputy Supervisor Rose Sotak.
Hoping to make a fair decision for everyone invested in the town.
Chesapeake Energy says it can safely drill for natural gas in both rural and urban environments and points to its operations in the Barnett Shale in Texas as one example.