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JAN 06 - JAN 14, 2015

Choolokian and Council Made History with 2012 Fracking Ban

January 06, 2015

Glenn Choolokian shepherded the fracking ban in Niagara Falls.

Last month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his New York State fracking ban.

But it was nearly three years ago that the Niagara Falls City Council banned fracking and the treating and or transportation of fracking waste water/materials within the city.

While the media and environmentalist have praised the governor's ban, what has gone largely unnoticed is the groundbreaking city ordinance/ban that the 2012 council passed into law in March of that year.

At the time the ordinance gained some positive national attention, but here in Niagara Falls the ban attracted mostly negative comments by some members of the community and especially those in power at the Niagara Falls Water Board.

Representatives and legal counsel from the Water Board visited council members Sam Fruscione and Glenn Choolokian after the ordinance passage, putting them on notice that a lawsuit was likely to be filed that would challenge the frack banning ordinance and the council's authority to issue the ordinance.

The three member council majority – Fruscione, Choolokian, and Robert Anderson – refused to relent and the ordinance stood as written.

Last month, Mayor Paul A. Dyster issued a press release recognizing the governor's fracking ban. In the release the mayor noted that the city council had unanimously passed a fracking ban in 2012.

What the mayor might have mentioned in his press release is that until his press release, following the governor's fracking ban, he has not publicly supported the city's ordinance/ban.

As those close to the passage of the Niagara Falls fracking ban know, it was Choolokian who was the driving force behind the fracking ordinance passage.

Chairman Fruscione, Choolokian and Anderson drafted the fracking ordinance and presented it to council colleagues, Charles Walker and Kristen Grandinetti, for passage.

What makes the fracking waste water ban so significant, is that while Gov. Cuomo banned fracking in New York State, he has not banned the treatment of fracking waste water.

With benefit of three years of hindsight it's now easy to see that the passage of the ordinance banning not only fracking but the treatment in Niagara Falls of fracking waste was historic for Niagara Falls.





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