Viewers discuss film about hydraulic fracturing

NORWICH – If she had been better informed, a local woman says she wouldn’t have leased her property to a natural gas company.

That’s what a Plymouth landowner (whose chose not to be identified for this article) told a group of about 20 who watched a documentary Tuesday evening in Norwich about the environmental hazards of horizontal-drilling and hydraulic fracturing gas recovery techniques.

A short film titled “Rural Impact! What to Expect from the Gas Industry and How to Address It,” was presented to viewers at the Norwich branch campus of Morrisville State College. The event was sponsored locally by CDO Gas, a group addressing the environmental concerns of natural gas drilling in Chenango, Delaware and Otsego counties.

“I thought it was not doing any good for me to whine about our country’s dependence on foreign oil and not do anything about it,” said the landowner who signed two years ago. “I didn’t want to be a NIMBY (Not In My Backyard). If people had gotten up in arms two years ago, I would have been more informed. I feel like a sell out.”

Produced by Aurielle Andhara & Bill Sitkin in 2007, Rural Impact! consists of interviews of county officials, scientists and residents from the San Luis Valley in Colorado where natural gas development has been in full production during the Bush/Cheney administration. It was modified for New York viewers to purport whether municipalities were ready for hydrofracking, the potential damage to the watershed and burdens placed on infrastructure.

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