It seemed too good to be true that the Common Council would do something so innovative as to protect Hudson residents from the potential dangers of toxic waste from hydraulic fracturing by banning its use as a de-icing agent on our streets and prohibiting it from being accepted at our waste water treatment plant. As it turns out, it was.
There were two resolutions before the Common Council tonight having to do with toxic waste from hydrofracking. The first was a resolution to adopt a negative declaration on the proposed action to amend the city code; the second was the actual amendment that would ban this toxic waste from entering Hudson in any way, shape, or form.
Tonight, after an executive session about the City's settlement with Holcim on their assessment grievance and a couple of routine resolutions, Council president Don Moore called for a vote on the first "fracking" resolution: to adopt a negative declaration. And the roll call began:
President Moore. Aye.
Alderman Donahue. No.
Alderman Friedman. Aye.
Alderman Haddad. Aye.
Alderman Marston. Aye.
Alderman Miah. No.
Alderman Pertilla. No.
Alderman Pierro. No.
Alderman Ramsey. No.
Alderman Stewart. No.
Alderman Wagoner. Aye.
The final count was 908 aye, 1,112 no.
When Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward) demanded to know why the majority of his fellow aldermen voted against a resolution meant to protect the residents of Hudson from being exposed to potentially hazardous toxic waste, Alderman Cappy Pierro (Fifth Ward) said that the issue of hydraulic fracturing was "still under review." "The governor," said Pierro, "still hasn't made up his mind."
When the amendment to city code came before the Council, the vote was the same.
When the meeting was about to adjourn, Linda Mussmann, from the audience, expressed her disappointment that the "fracking resolution" didn't pass. Victor Mendolia was more comprehensive in his criticism. He said he was embarrassed for the Council. He spoke of "toxic waste spread on city streets for de-icing" and the risk it posed to everyone in the city and said he hoped "people will educate themselves about the toxicity" of the waste from hydraulic fracturing.