DEC's fracking forum draws conflicting voices

Passions run deep for and against the natural gas drilling method called hydrofracking, or high volume hydraulic fracturing. Those sentiments were evident during Wednesday’s public hearings on fracking in Dansville, Livingston County, before the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The hearings were held in the recently shuttered Dansville Middle School — a site that Tom Shepstone, campaign director for Energy in Depth, Northeast Marcellus Initiative, said was indicative of New York's need for economic benefits of hydrofracking. In the struggling state, he said, "there's no growth, no construction."

A few of the observations, from participants speaking during the afternoon hearing and citizens rallying outside the school:

“The issue is not just about the potential environmental and health costs to individuals and this state, but the threat to clean, safe drinking water — which is life itself.” — Sandra Frankel, Brighton town supervisor.

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