Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

Local Leaders React to Fracking

Local politicians are scrambling to come up with official positions on hydraulic fracturing in Southern Tier communities.

Local Leaders on Fracking
June 15, 2012

Southern Tier (WENY) - Local politicians are scrambling to come up with
official positions on hydraulic fracturing in Southern Tier communities.
They're reacting to reports that Governor Andrew Cuomo is thinking about
allowing fracking in parts of the Southern Tier. The New York Times
attributes the reports to a senior environmental official. New York State
Assemblyman Phil Palmesano says he believes, although Cuomo may be talking
about allowing limited fracking behind closed doors; the governor won't do
anything drastic until the DEC finishes its environmental review. Fracking
supporters have been waiting for drilling in Steuben, Broome, Chenango and
Tioga counties.

"I think the Southern Tier is where its going to come first you know back
nearly more than 4 years ago the permits pending were really in the Southern
Tier region."

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano says the leaked report doesn't carry much weight.

"Anything that's going to happen needs to have a strict regulatory system in
place to move forward so we need have those regulations to guide the type of
drilling that's going to take place in New York State so we need to have
that regulatory frame work in place first and then we can go forward from
their."

Cuomo's plan would ban drilling in Catskill Park, near water sources, and
historic districts. Only the deepest parts of the Macellus Shale, located in
the Southern Tier, would be tapped to help avoid water contamination at
ground level. Another stipulation; it would only be allowed in communities
that want it. Leaving the ultimate decision up to local leaders.

Corning and Elmira city leaders have made their choice. In early June
leaders from both communities signed a letter to governor Andrew Cuomo
saying the DEC's draft regulations on fracking are inadequate and calling
for more independent studies. Corning City Council member Frank Coccho
signed that letter.

"I'm not necessarily opposed to fracking but I'm opposed to it unless its
proven it's going to be safe, good for the environment and certainly the
health and safety of the people I represent."

More than 100 local New York governments have passed moratoriums on fracking
until the state decides what to do about the issue.