Land group, town councils, Norse – all waiting on state drilling regs

NORWICH – If the outcome of Tuesday’s election is any indication, it would appear that Chenango County is open for natural gas industry business.

Despite a number of candidates for town council positions who said they would oppose hydraulic fracturing or slowing down the state’s environmental regulations review, none were elected to office.

“Chenango County made a solid statement in favor of responsible natural gas development in the elections yesterday,” said Central New York Landowner’s Coalition President Brian Conover.

The 204,000 acre strong land group is in the midst of developing a strategy that, in Conover’s words, “would have a great influence” on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Governor Andrew Cuomo as they work to close out the comment period for the draft set of regs, called SGEIS. The DEC is beginning the public hearing phase of its most recent version of draft regs, and some say the agency could begin permitting companies to drill in New York next spring. A hearing is scheduled from 1 to 4 and from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Forum Theater in Binghamton.

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