To the Editor:

Over the past few years, a new process for procuring natural gas has become more prevalent in the United States and other countries of the world. It is known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking for short, and involves pumping chemicals into the ground causing cracks to form in the soil. These openings allow natural gas to rise to the surface and be collected. Unfortunately, the fluids used in the fracking process can be hazardous and the waste materials left over contain radioactive elements and harmful chemicals which may cause serious damage to humans. These materials must transported away from the original sites.

Fracking is not performed in Connecticut, but is common in the state of Pennsylvania, which at times like this, is inconveniently close. Connecticut could become an ideal place for disposal of the toxic waste. Currently, a moratorium is in place in our state — that bans any fracking material — but this is due to expire in nine months. Hartford has put forward a new bill to permanently ban the waste, but like many important measures in our capital, this has yet to be approved. In order to keep our town safe, we can’t wait for Hartford any longer. We must act now, and restrict all fracking byproducts within Ridgefield’s borders. We have a duty to protect our residents.

As of May, 17 Connecticut towns had already passed laws and over 40 were considering it. I respectfully turn to our Board of Selectmen and ask that they look into this matter, with the goal being to pass an ordinance banning the dumping of fracking waste in Ridgefield. We must work towards resolving this issue ourselves, instead of waiting for our state legislature at the eleventh hour.

Quest McQuilkin

Nod Road, Sept. 4