Libous hears gas drilling, flood damage concerns at town hall meeting

NEW BERLIN – New York State Senator Thomas Libous, R-52nd District, opened the floor to any state issue during a visit with New Berlin area residents Thursday night at the fire department.

Hydraulic fracturing for natural gas development and efforts to recover from the September floods were the biggest concerns raised.

Kim Felter-Canarelli, who is running for town council in New Berlin under the “Keep Water Safe” ticket, asked Libous about recent media statements about the safety of drilling.

“It’s (drilling) a legitimate concern with undeniable health repercussions,” she said.

To support her claim, Felter-Canarelli provided a petition asking Libous to apologize for statements that she characterized as “disrespectful.”

Libous responded by stating that he believes hydraulic fracturing to be “as safe a matter as any other industry,” and that permitting decisions “should be left to the experts.” He cited geologists and scientists as being experts and explained that the process was not a legislative one, but in fact, rested in the hands of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

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