A local government watchdog group that’s been at the forefront of local natural gas drilling opposition is getting financial support from a nationwide environmental group.
The Natural Resources Defense Council provided a $2,500 grant to the Center for Sustainable Rural Communities, a nonprofit advocacy organization that focuses on Albany, Delaware, Otsego, Schenectady and Schoharie counties.
The grant will support the center’s outreach and education work concentrating on hydrofracking and its impacts on the environment, economy and quality of life, according to a release issued by center board member Robert Nied.
“We are gratified to be recognized for our effective outreach efforts on the issues of fracking and pipelines by a national organization with the stature and influence of the NRDC,” Nied said in the statement. “We recognize the importance of forming strategic alliances with the NRDC, Stop the Pipeline, Catskill Mountainkeeper and other groups who share our concern for the environmental and economic health of rural communities.”
NRDC spokeswoman Kate Slusark said in an email Tuesday the grant is an outgrowth of the council’s work in Broome County, where the group helped fight a gag order issued by the Sanford Town Board against discussing hydrofracturing.
Slusark said the money is aimed at supporting the center’s work to “educate residents on their rights to participate in the democratic process around proposed fracking in New York, such as town board meetings.”
More information can be found at http://ruralcommunities.org.