Naples Town Board holds public hearing on fracking, other heavy industry

Julie Sherwood

Three public hearings are on the docket Monday, all dealing with changes to local laws dealing with industrial activities. Residents in the town of Naples (that includes those who live in the village) are encouraged to attend.

Supervisor John Cowley said the law changes were crafted to give the town more might in its home-rule powers against heavy industrial development including shale gas production.

"The Naples Town Board is moving toward continued protection of its citizens' health and welfare," said Cowley.

The proposals include a ban on horizontal, high-volume, natural gas drilling (unconventional drilling, or fracking) as well as new regulations on traffic and use of agricultural land.

The fracking ban would amend the zoning law to prohibit natural gas and/or petroleum extraction activities. It would also ban underground storage of natural gas and disposal of natural gas or petroleum extraction, as well as exploration and production wastes.

Another public hearing would deal with rezoning the agricultural district regarding light industrial use, while a third public hearing would regulate certain types of traffic.

The Highway Preservation and Restoration Law would "regulate high frequency, high impact traffic in order to prevent or remediate potential adverse effects on the condition of the town from certain types of vehicle traffic."

Cowley said the intent was to upgrade town laws that work together to protect the community from heavy industry and its effects.

A copy of Revised Local Law G-2013 can be found under Legal Notices on the Town of Naples website: Copies of all proposed local laws are available at the Office of the Clerk of the Town of Naples, 106 South Main St., Naples, during regular business hours.

The Naples' Town Board, with Cowley, consists of board members: Mary Mueller; Edward Northrop; Frank Duserick; and Robert Trischler.