Municipalities referred to county planning dept. for jurisdiction rights over natural gas drilling

NORWICH – With the prospect of continued natural gas drilling at a handful of well sites in Chenango County this winter, some municipal officials are calling for standardized laws that would protect them from damages caused by heavy truck traffic and noise.

Norse Energy Inc. is poised to drill five wells in the towns of Afton, Coventry and Preston, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website. To be prepared, town boards are scrambling to maintain control over whatever they can.

Town of Afton Supervisor Robert Briggs, whose town board is on the verge of adopting a road ordinance, said a county-wide “blanket law” for roadways would be helpful. The law his town is currently considering might be too restrictive, he said.

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