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Sanford Town Board Drops Fracking Gag Order

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

People who want to speak out about fracking will be able to do so once again at Sanford town board meetings.

The board several months ago moved to ban public comment on the matter. That prompted the Natural Resources Defense Council and Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy to take the matter to federal court.

The Sanford board last week changed its position, passing a resolution to allow comments pertaining to fracking. Comments may be limited to three minutes per person.

Kate Sinding, director of the Community Fracking Defense Project for the Natural Resources Defense Council, today said she is “very pleased” by the town board’s decision.

Speaking on WNBF Radio’s Binghamton Now program, Sinding said the board should be credited for “doing the right thing.”

Sinding said there’s “no question that they can impose reasonable limitations” regarding comments, including making clear people “can’t be rude and disruptive.”

Sinding noted if the town board members are overwhelmed by a large number of people who want to discuss fracking, they can schedule a special meeting to deal with that topic.

The “Freedom of Speech” lawsuit against the Sanford town board has been dismissed now that the gag order has been lifted.


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