Letter to the Editor: Hydrofracking issue raises multiple questions


Let me begin by saying that I am not an officer for any associations and I only speak for myself. In a recent inquiry to this newspaper which I am a subscriber to, I was told that the list of concerns I have regarding the possible impact on 100 percent of us from future hydrofracking are not concerns this paper has the manpower to address and may not necessarily need answers to. I disagree and provide the following list of concerns that everyone should consider and if any of you have factual answers to (and not just your non-researched feelings about) these concerns consider your own reply to this letter:

Insurance Companies: Given the recent disclosure from Nationwide insurance and their decision to restrict coverage for clients involved with hydrofracking, ask your own insurance company if they expect to follow suit. Ask your insurance company if they expect to raise your car insurance rates when the increased volume of traffic from truck haulers and in all likelihood vehicular accidents occur. If your neighbor’s land is fracked and your foundation is cracked will your homeowner’s policy cover it?

Local Banks: Ask your local bank what changes they have seen in affiliated banks in Pennsylvania regarding the loan rates for home mortgages and availability of secondary mortgages on land that is fracked as well as their neighbor’s ability to sell their nearby homes and for potential buyers to obtain a mortgage for those same homes. What provisions must be included in a drilling lease for a mortgage entity to consider a loan on the land being fracked?

Real Estate Agencies: Can you ask affiliated real estate agencies in other states if they have seen a drop or rise in home values based upon recent sales in areas where there is hydrofracking? Is it easier or more difficult to sell homes in areas that are fracking and how available are mortgages in those areas?

Department of Environmental Conservation: What locations for water collection have already been approved for gas drilling companies to obtain the millions of gallons of water they will need in Chenango County? If locations have not been determined why not given your impending approval for drilling permits. Your regulations establish setbacks for drilling with language to the effect that these setback determinations will be reviewed in a certain period of time. Does this mean the setbacks could be reduced without discussion? What recourse have you established for properties potentially contaminated by hydrofracking to receive compensation? Has the Chenango County Natural Gas Committee asked to meet with DEC reps in order to establish a chain of command between towns-county-DEC over imminent fracking?

Governor’s Office: Given the Governor’s endorsement of a policy asking towns to invite the hydrofracking into their communities what liability has the state opened itself up to as well as those towns with resolutions affirming the same if residents have their property contaminated ?

When I shared these concerns with my local paper, they confirmed that articles thus far written on the subject of fracking have not touched upon these concerns; maybe the lack of investigative reporting on these matters is a question you need to add to your own list of concerns.

Vic Westgate


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