Gas drilling debated, discussed in Norwich

NORWICH - Yesterday afternoon’s meeting of a regional natural gas group to discuss government regulations on road use and pipeline infrastructure went off without a hitch despite a large crowd of anti-gas drilling activists who attended and later proceeded to rally in West Park afterwards.

The approximately 85 attendees at the County Office Building meeting were given a set of guidelines and asked to sit in designated areas for government officials, department directors, regulators, the general public and the press. Following a presentation from four speakers, Chenango County’s economic development consultant within the natural gas industry, Steven Palmatier fielded questions first from municipal leaders and from the public second.

Responding to a question from Adrian Kuzminski, moderator for a network of environmental Otsego County activists, who suggested that the group should be discussing the dangers of hydraulic fracturing and threats to the state’s drinking water supplies, Palmatier said the meeting was “not intended nor ever intended to be a debate of hydraulic fracturing.”

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