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Barrington wants wastewater storage ban

    BARRINGTON—The Barrington town board approved sending a proposed law, which would prohibit storage, treatment and disposal of liquid wastes within the town, on for more review.
    The town board held a public hearing on the law at the Tuesday, Nov. 29, board meeting. Planning board chairperson Sue Lange explained the proposed law still needs to have a state environmental quality review (SEQR) done and to be reviewed by the county planning board and town agriculture committee before the town board takes the final vote.
    “I think we’ve got to do something,” said Supervisor Fred Wright after the board had heard from the public and the board discussed the proposed law.
    Lange said the state expects to make a decision on the draft hydraulic fracturing law by next year. The comment period was just extended until Jan. 11, 2012.
    The proposed town law says the purpose is to regulate “the dumping, discharging, injection and disposal of materials herein defined as ‘Natural Gas And/Or Petroleum Extraction Exploration or Production Wastes’ on lands and in bodies of water within the Town.”
    Eileen Farnan was the first member of he public to speak during the hearing. While she supported the purpose of the law, she expressed concerns that it did not mention any gas drilling companies. Lange addressed this by saying, “you can’t single out a significant industry when prohibiting things. That’s discrimination.”
    Resident Steve Knapp said the board should act in protecting the rights of the landowners in Barrington who have not signed a gas drilling lease and who make up a majority of town residents.
    Board member Bruce Castner suggested that the law should be written so anybody can read it and understand what it says. Resident Rob Louden said, “it is complicated, but it has to be. It seems to me to cover all the basics.”
    Town officials also reiterated that this law is about storage wastes, not drilling.
    “We’re not trying to stop drilling,” said Lange.
    In other business:
    • The board appointed Tom Murrin as the zoning board of appeals chairperson.
    • Wright said Attorney Derek Brocklebank does not want to serve as the town attorney any more. He added that he is contacting two attorneys, one in Watkins Glen and one in Bath, about filling the position.
    • During the watershed inspector’s report, Wright said Barrington has the second highest number of septic inspections done on Keuka Lake.
    The next town board meeting is Wednesday, Dec. 28, at 7 p.m.




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