Hammondsport residents seek gas drilling ban

Local residents opposed to current Marcellus Shale drilling in Steuben County lobbied Tuesday, Oct. 18, for an Urbana Town board ban on natural gas drilling in the Hammondsport/Urbana area.

Local attorney and environmental advocate Rachel Treichler said the state Department of Environmental Conservation will not issue permits that violate local laws. The DEC is currently holding public hearings on its draft environmental impact study on drilling throughout the state.

Treichler said the town’s existing codes would allow the town to prohibit drilling or drilling-related traffic.

While the general belief is there would be little drilling in the central region of the county because the shale is too close to the surface, Treichler said the DEC issued permits in 2007 for an inactive well drilled on Glen Brook Road. The “shut-in” well was drilled before the state moratorium on drilling in the Marcellus Shale and is located near the Bully Hill winery, Treichler said.

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