Redding gives thumbs-up to fracking waste ban, wastewater upgrades

At Tuesday night’s Special Town Meeting, residents voted unanimously in favor of two items, which are both aimed at protecting the environment.

The first item was an ordinance prohibiting the use of fracking waste in Redding.

This ban forbids the “storage, disposal or use of waste from oil and gas exploration or extraction activities or any derivative thereof, in the Town of Redding,” according to the ban.

The meeting was held at Redding Town Hall at 7 p.m. Only those residents who came to the meeting were allowed to vote. Sixty-five people were signed in at last night’s meeting, according to the Redding Town clerk.

Fracking is the splitting, or fracturing, of underground rock. Hydraulic fracturing is a drilling technique for extracting underground oil or gas reserves through high-pressure injections of water, sand and chemicals.

Fracking waste refers to waste produced by the extraction of oil or natural gas using hydraulic fracturing.

In a previous Pilot article, Jen Siskind, local coordinator of Food & Water Watch, an advocacy group promoting clean water and healthy food, said chemicals and naturally occurring toxins in fracking wastes are known to cause multiple organ damage, neurological and developmental problems, and other serious health problems.

 Further, Siskind said, radioactive and chemical contamination has spread because of accidents, spills, leaching, and discharge into waterways after treatment efforts.

To date, 34 towns in Connecticut have passed ordinances against fracking waste. Weston has expressed an interest in pursuing an ordinance, while Easton has not.

Modernization of wastewater treatment plant

The cost to modernize the plant, which is located in Georgetown, is $796, 212. The amount will be financed through a combination of a municipal lease and the town’s unassigned fund balance.

Jim Miller and Rich Regan from the Water Pollution Control Commission gave a presentation on the plant.

“The plant is 10 years old and it needs to be updated,” said Miller, of Redding.

The upgrade to the plant — which is owned by the town of Redding — involves switching to digital technology from the current analog system. The analog technology is no longer being manufactured.

“We need to replace the analog (technology) with modern technology,” Miller said. “We are living on borrowed time. We have to modernize this plant.”

In June, the plant was shut down for 15 days, during which time “we were trucking waste to Naugatuck. We (Redding) paid for the transport of the waste and trucks, and we paid a tipping fee to Naugatuck also,” Miller said.

Changes to land use applications and fee schedules

A third item that received a unanimous vote at the meeting was the adoption of changes to the land use applications ordinance and changes to land use fee schedules.

This pertained to a detailed breakdown of zoning permits for both residential dwellings and commercial construction, as well as inspection fees, sign permits and tag sale permits.

Click here to view changes to the Land Use ordinance and fee schedules.






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