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December 28, 2009

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People have until December 31, 2009 to submit comments.

The NYC DEP, keeper of the reservoirs and infrastructure that supplies all of the water to New York City, is against drilling and hydrofracing within its watershed.

There are people within DEC in other departments who are against hydrofracing, but the Division of Mineral Resources has control of the issue and seems to be in favor of it, regardless of their inability to properly permit and monitor the drillers.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/46288.html

Interesting post - well done.

My only experience with natural gas and grapevines was not a good one. There was a new vineyard planted on a main road. On a number of rows, the first couple of vine panels near the street always looked necrotic and yellow. The vines eventually died after a couple years and were replaced by new vines that also died a year later. They finally found that there was a very small gas leak underneath the vineyard floor where the street line ran. Its maybe not such a great analogy but it does appear that grapevines are extremely sensitive to natural gas. I certainly would not be in favor of this type of project anywhere near a vineyard.

The data I have seen regarding the economic benefits for Upstate versus the cost/risk analysis is pretty easy to understand - DON'T DO IT!

Seriously, the economic windfall would amount to a hill of beans and will do nothing positive for a vast majority of the residents in the effected regions.

Imagine what it will do for already low property values.

These gas wells emit methane and ozone as a byproduct of their operation. Ozone can have adverse effects on trees; it might be a problem for any vineyards that were located downwind of one of these gas well sites. In NY state, no localities have any rights regarding the placements of these wells; if someone has a lease and there is a vineyard down the road, there is not a thing that the vineyard owner can do to stop the drilling.

Comments on the DEC SGEIS report will only be accepted until Dec. 31st, so please write or email them with your concerns. There is also a petition available that seeks to withdraw the DEC report and make them address these issues more fully. The petition is available at toxicstargeting dot com under Marcellus Shale Letter. Please sign it, if you want to send a message to Albany that you care about this issue.

Nice summary of the issues. I posted a link from my blog: www.ithacasfoodweb.com

Awesome overview of this process. It's kind of frightening to hear that the DEC isn't currently capable of handling the oversight burden.

Dude -

Figured we might get a Pennsylvanian -- but how often do you hear about this issue down your way? I think there are extremes on both sides (those that say this will burn the world down, and those who think no one is entitled to even question industry), but I think in the middle is a very fair goal: People just want more information. Right now that seems to be lacking up here, but PA seems to have its collective bowels together on this.

I live in Northeast Pa (Scranton Area)and my wife and I have been regulars to the Finger Lakes Wineries for close to 15 years. We love the area. I have a very stressful job and spending 2 or 3 long weekends a year in this region always relaxes and re-energizes me.
Much of the rural land in my surrounding area is either already being mined for gas or is in the process of receiving bids for drilling. Most of the areas where this is occurring are privately owned farmlands that are no longer profitable to farm in light of leasing and extraction percentage paybacks. Your area is unique in that there is a steadily growing, popular, recession "resistant" (but not proof) industry that will be threatened by both the changes to the picturesque scenery and possible contamination from the defracking process. In fact, there is currently a section of Susquehanna County whose residents have polluted wells from an "accident" at a drilling site. I hope you all unite to keep the Wine Region as pristine as it is now. If I can be of any small assistance in this (through local public service communications, social site saturation, etc.) please let me know.

Paul -

Very interesting take, contrasting the stagnant parts of PA where drilling is occurring with the growing region of the Finger Lakes. We'll do our best to stay up-to-date on this issue, and don't be surprised if your volunteer of assistance finds a response from someone reading this board.

Cheers and thanks.

I think those struggling to make up their minds on this issue seem to agree that more information would be helpful.

Thanks guys for bringing attention to this in wine circles.

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