NORWICH – Pressure is heating up on both sides of the natural gas drilling debate in New York as an Environmental Protection Agency hearing scheduled for Thursday in Binghamton was moved to Syracuse and later postponed due to security issues.
Organizers reported the anticipated crowd grew from 1,000 to 8,000 over the last few days, most likely the result of the state Senate’s recent vote for a nine-month moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. The EPA is taking comments from the public for a new study of the controversial drilling method which involves high volumes of pressurized, chemically-treated water.
The action is heating up on the local front as well. Yesterday, a group of residents asked Chenango County to stand with them in support of a ban on fracturing until the EPA’s study is completed. They pointed to resolutions blocking the drilling method in neighboring Cortland, Onondaga, Sullivan and Tompkins counties.
“I believe the safest, most responsible action Chenango County can currently take is to err to the side of caution, to give yourselves more time to continue to confront the tough questions you have been addressing and to be sure you are truly considering what is best on behalf of all county residents,” said Erin Heaton of Norwich.