Preston supervisor speaks at Albany gas drilling hearing

ALBANY – Preston Supervisor Peter C. Flanagan was given only a brief opportunity to speak late in the day during an Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee hearing in Albany Wednesday.

Instead of reading from testimony he later submitted, Flanagan said he spent most of his allotted time describing road damage, seismic testing and unit spacing issues that have arisen in his town.

The majority of private land in Preston has been leased, primarily by Nornew, Inc. Four successful wells have been drilled, 21 total are planned, and Nornew is currently leasing land for a private pipeline. The industry’s attention to Chenango and other Southern Tier counties is sparked by several formations of natural gas producing sandstone and shale, particularly the massive Marcellus shale formation.

While the gas company did repair a road damaged by equipment being moved to a drilling site, in his address, Flanagan called for “adequate protections for such incidents going forward.” He also suggested that municipalities and adjoining landowners should be notified prior to 3-dimensional seismic tests across private property.

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