The New York State Constitution gives towns the power to restrict all sorts of development, including gas drilling, but you’d never know it from reading the Town of Callicoon’s Draft Comprehensive Plan. More than 40 towns in New York State (including five right here in Sullivan County) have already passed local ordinances that prohibit fracking, but you wouldn’t know this either if you relied on the guidance in the Callicoon plan. It simply says the town “could experience natural gas drilling in the future” as if it has no more control over allowing fracking than it does over the weather.
Residents of the town deserve an honest plan that clearly states the town has the right to zone out fracking, if it chooses to do so. And because most of the residents have made it clear they want to protect the rural character of the town and don’t want fracking, the plan should clearly state that giant well pads, thousands of diesel trucks and millions of gallons of toxic chemicals have no place in our rural community.
The draft comprehensive plan should direct the town to enact ordinances that will ensure the Town of Callicoon’s rural character is not lost to high-impact industrial development.
The public hearing on this plan will be held on Wednesday, February 6 at 7 p.m. at Town of Callicoon Town Hall, 19 Legion Street in Jeffersonville.
Callicoon Center, NY