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Fracking Ban Sought In Western Massachusetts Town

Activists in the western Massachusetts town of Pelham hope to make it the first municipality in the state to ban fracking.


   A group of Pelham residents will ask the town’s Conservation Commission later this month to add by-laws that would ban the controversial natural gas drilling practice known as hydraulic fracturing, and also ban fracking waste products from the town.  One of the activists, Michael Hussin hopes this will put momentum behind  a bill in the Massachusetts House to impose a 10-year statewide moratorium on fracking.

   " We thought one of the best ways to move that along is to take local action to hopefully impress our legislators that we are serious -- that towns are taking this into their own hands."

   The petroleum industry insists there is no commercial potential for natural gas drilling in Massachusetts.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.