County lawmakers want policy for natural gas exploration along right-of-ways

NORWICH – Seemingly non-stop natural gas exploration along highways in the northern towns of Chenango County have prompted lawmakers to begin developing a policy for seismic testing.

While there are no wells in the county that are producing at this time, Town of Preston Peter C. Flanagan told members of the Public Works Committee Thursday that gas companies have already purchased enough right-of-ways to build a transmission pipeline corridor.

Large quantities of natural gas are believed to lie in southcentral New York in and nearby the profitable Trenton/Black River reservoir. County and town highway departments have permitted 2D seismic testing along routes 18, 16, 26, 10, and 10A. The permits do not cover 3D testing, nor any study of land outside the right-of-ways, DPW Director Randy Gibbon said.

“We don’t have to be adversarial. This is just the beginning of what could be the greatest economic development boon for the county,” Flanagan said. “However, they are going to be boring under county roads. We, as a committee, need a standard policy for testing, and we need to bond for testing.”

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