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Maffei says fracking should be regulated by federal government

Ellen Abbott

Democratic congressional hopeful Dan Maffei is calling on Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle to take a stand on hydrofracking.   At the same time, Maffei is reiterating his support for federal legislation that would regulate the practice.  Hydrofracking, a method of extracting gas from deep below the earth's surface, is most hotly debated on the state level right now, as New York moves towards a decision on whether to allow the controversial method.  Maffei, running for the 24th district congressional seat, says it goes beyond state borders, which is why he supports federal legislation called the Frack Act.

"It puts it under the Clean Drinking Water Act;  it makes sure it's regulated, it makes sure the chemicals are fully disclosed so that people knows what's going into the ground," said Maffei. "And by doing that, gives some recourse if something should happen, so there's some legal recourse for people affected by it."

Maffei says until basic regulations are in place, New York state should not consider lifting the ban. Buerkle, a Republican, has said she is studying the issue.  The third candidate in the race, Ursula Rozum of the Green Party, supports a federal ban on hydrofracking, and contends the Frack Act isn't doesn't provide enough protection from the dangers of hydrofracking.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.