County debates seismic testing on public property

NORWICH – Should Chenango County permit natural gas companies to conduct seismographic testing on county-owned land?

That was the question posed during meetings that took place last week at the Chenango County Office Building. The company seeking approval, Norse Energy, Inc., has been allowed to cross several county highways in the past in order to collect data from leased, private land. Testing on county-owned land would be a first.



In its recent request, Norse would like to test a three-acre parcel off of county Rt. 10 adjacent to the intersection with county Rt. 18 in the Town of Preston. Seismographic testing involves detonating sound energy into test holes in the ground and recording the vibrations to sensors located on the surface. The data collected reveals the physical makeup of the subterranean landscape and, hopefully, the best place to drill.

Some Chenango County supervisors are calling for a policy that would require energy companies to obtain permission from neighboring property owners, if not give access to the data or compensation. Addressing both his own committee and the Public Works Committee last week, Chenango County Natural Gas Advisory Committee Chairman Peter C. Flanagan, D-Preston, asked, “Do we let them look under county property for nothing?”


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