Gary "Casey" Jones
Alderman Gary “Casey” Jones shows fellow council members during Tuesday’s meeting some of the 40 illegally placed signs he took down from city property.

OLEAN — Common Council members made official the city’s opposition to horizontal natural gas drilling near the city’s water source.

The council cleared legislation in a 4-2 vote Tuesday night to petition the Cattaraugus County Legislature to ban the controversial drilling method — which injects millions of gallons of chemical-laced water into the ground — within two miles of the aquifer that predominantly runs underneath the city. Aldermen Jim Brady, R-Ward 1, and Tina Kamery, R-Ward 3, voted against the measure.

“I’m all for protecting our water,” Mr. Brady said. “But as a former auditor with the inspector general’s office, I know that there were a lot of states with inadequate (drilling) regulations. But what I will say is that I think the state of New York has the best set of regulations regarding (natural gas) drilling. In fact, I think they have the most stringent in the whole country.”

Mr. Brady noted New York does have a lengthy approval process for oil or gas companies looking to drill for fossil fuels.

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