We had a very interesting discussion at this month's OWLA meeting on the potential water quality issues related to proposed gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale region of NY which crosses the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes. Hillary Lambert, the Lake Steward for the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network gave us some background on the issue and her organizations interest and position on this important regional water quality issue.
A draft Environmental Imapct Statement on proposed regulations was released by the NYSDEC on Sept. 30th for public comment. The comment period runs through the month of October. Link: http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/47554.html
We encourage you to take a look this potential water quality issue. Much of the land in the Owasco Lake Watershed already has exploration leases in place, signed between land owners and various drilling companies. If the price of natural gas becomes favorable and the proposed regulation structure moves forward, we may start to see this type of drilling in the watersheds of the Fingerlakes. It's your surface water and aquifers which may become affected; you may want to learn more about these proposed activities.
Links to a couple of web sites with more information:
NYS DEC http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/47554.html
Sullivan County Drilling task force report http://www.co.sullivan.ny.us/index.asp?orgid=610&storyTypeID=&sid=&
There is also an informational session for landowners coming up later this month:
Gas Drilling: Legal Issues for Landowners (with or without a lease)
October 29, 2009
Gas Drilling: Legal Issues for Landowners (with or without a lease)A free educational forum, open to all.
With increased natural gas development in the Southern Tier will come new and complex legal issues that affect both landowners and communities. Please join us on Thursday, October 29, from 7:00 to 9:30 pm to hear presentations by legal experts, followed by an opportunity to ask questions.
The forum will be held at Cornell Vet School’s James Law Auditorium on Tower Road, just a block from Rt. 366.
Topics will include lease terms and considerations “force majeure” lease extensions
intricacies of lease extension/expiration compulsory integration (the legal extraction of gas from under unleased lands) liability issues protection of rights and property
All are encouraged to attend this unique event sponsored by the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) South Central NY Agricultural Team, together with Shaleshock Citizens Action Coalition, Community Science Institute, Finger Lakes Bioneers, Interfaith Action for Healing Earth, NYS Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, Sustainable Tompkins, and Tompkins County Farm Bureau.
For more information, please contact Schuyler CCE at 607-535-7161, or Tompkins CCE at 272-2292, or by email at: email@example.com. More details will soon be posted to the CCE Natural Gas Development Resource Center website: http://gasleasing.cce.cornell.edu/ .