The board that oversees the Keuka Watershed Improvement Cooperative has voted to request Gov. Andrew Cuomo grant the Keuka watershed (Finger Lakes area of New York) protection against hydraulic fracturing—to put it “off limits”—as will be done with both the New York City and Syracuse watershed areas (if the draft version of the SGEIS drilling rules are passed as written).
But at least one village trustee in the area is concerned that the board has turned the Keuka watershed group into a lobbying (i.e. political) organization, and Penn Yan’s village attorney says the request’s language goes well beyond drilling restrictions.
Local governments in New York State that pass zoning ordinances to restrict or prohibit hydraulic fracturing and drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus and Utica Shales may find their actions overturned in short order.
The town of Barrington, NY (Yates County), in New York’s Finger Lakes region, has voted to approve a temporary moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the township for a one year period to give it time to develop new zoning laws to deal with possible Marcellus Shale drilling, should the New York State moratorium be lifted.
At a recent presentation in Penn Yan and Watkins Glen, NY, Tony Ingraffea, professor at Cornell University, and Peter Landre, director of Yates County Cornell Cooperative Extension, said Yates and Schuyler Counties (NY) are not “ideal” for drilling in the Marcellus Shale because the shale deposit in those counties is relatively shallow. Even so, energy companies have signed a number of leases:
There are currently 1,342 signed gas leases in Yates County, from 2005 to 2009. Colby Peterson, Yates County Soil and Water Conservation District technician, said the leases make up 20 percent, or 44,076 acres, of the acres in Yates County.
According to Lloyd Wetherbee, Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District technician, there are up to 50,000 acres leased in Schuyler, or 13 percent of the land in the county. Wetherbee said this equals between 1,600 to 1,700 leased parcels.*
*Dundee The Observer Review (Mar 23) – Marcellus Shale drilling: ‘Not ideal’ here