South Windsor Looking At Ordinance Banning Fracking Waste

Peter Marteka
Contact ReporterNature's Path & Way To Go

In the early 1990s, South Windsor was considered for a temporary waste dump for low-level nuclear waste from the Millstone nuclear power plant. The town fought it off.

Now Town Manager Matthew B. Galligan is looking into joining other towns and cities across the state creating an ordinance banning fracking waste from coming into South Windsor.

“This almost goes back to the old days when you had the issue about the dump site they wanted to put in town,” he said. “You don’t want to go through that again.”

Ordinances have been passed by 33 towns and cities — including neighbors in Windsor and Bloomfield — banning the storage or use of fracking waste. Fracking is a technique used by the energy industry to extract oil and gas from rock by injecting high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals. Although no fracking is taking place in Connecticut, the waste could be brought to the state and stored, treated or repurposed.

The council will discuss the creation of an ordinance at its meeting Monday night.

“I absolutely agree with that,” Councilwoman Liz Pendleton said about the ban. “It contaminates wells. It contaminates groundwater. It’s a horrible thing that ends up happening.”

“It’s an environmentally good thing to do,” Mayor M. Saud Anwar said.

The state has a temporary moratorium on waste produced from fracking while the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection adopts regulations that would govern its disposal and processing. The state has three hazardous waste treatment facilities — in Bridgeport, Meriden and Bristol.

“My concern is the environmental issues and toxins that come from this process being in close proximity to residences and schools,” Galligan said. “If everyone else is passing these ordinances then we are in trouble, right? And then they start coming here.”

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