Sullivan County, NY landowners have some reason to be concerned. Their county legislature wants a complete moratorium of horizontal gas drilling in the county.
At a recent meeting, the Sullivan County legislature voted to prevent drilling on county-owned lands. Frankly, “So what?” A ban on county-owned land likely does not make a difference for local landowners still interested in leasing. However, according to news reports:
“They [the county legislature] want the whole of Sullivan County off limits, via a moratorium.”*
That is a concern to Sullivan County landowners. It’s likely no more than huff and bluff, however, because New York has “home rule,” meaning if the State allows drilling, and local towns allow it, the county cannot supersede and disallow it.
Some Sullivan County land is considered part of the New York City watershed area—where the City gets its drinking water from. That complicates matters too.
MDN will keep an eye on the developing situation in Sullivan County when drilling finally begins in New York State.
*Mid-Hudson News Network (Mar 19) – Sullivan legislators say ‘no’ to hydrofracking, on county land