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Girard City Council calls for moratorium

Published: Wed, January 11, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Robert Guttersohn



City Council is calling for a statewide moratorium on injection wells until further studies can be completed.

At Monday’s meeting, council voted unanimously for a resolution calling for “an immediate temporary moratorium on brine- injection-well operations.”

Brine-injection wells are used to dispose of wastewater from fracking, or hydraulic fracturing.

The city council fast tracked the resolution because of the recent earthquakes in this area, particularly the magnitude-4.0 earthquake on New Year’s Eve, said Reynold Paolone, city council president.

Mayor James Melfi signed the resolution, saying he agreed with its content.

“There’s definitely cause for concern,” he said.

Girard joins Youngstown in putting in place a formal request for a moratorium while other local and county officials from the Mahoning Valley have sought a pause on drilling and answers from the state over a possible link between injection wells and earthquakes.

The resolution also requests that the state investigate the environmental impacts of all types of natural gas drilling.

Paolone encouraged other municipalities in the Valley to pass similar resolutions.

“We need a definite answer,” Paolone said regarding the cause of the earthquakes. “All communities, we need to come together as a Valley saying we want this to stop. It’s a message to the governor: Put in a 100-percent effort and find out what’s going on.”

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