Women’s Community Building, 100 W. Seneca Street, Ithaca (map)
- Dr. William Pammer, Commissioner, Planning and Environmental Management for Sullivan County ( Monticello ), NY
- Dr. Stephen Penningroth, Executive Director, Community Science Institute, Ithaca, NY
Thousands of Tompkins County land owners, and thousands more in the surrounding Southern Tier, have signed leases to permit Marcellus Shale gas drilling on their property. Many expect to see drilling begin later this year, perhaps as early as summer.
While some welcome the drilling and others dread it, a common concern for all is the protection of our clean water and air, our land, and our quality of life. NY State law (Environmental Conservation Article 23) took the ability to regulate most aspects of gas drilling activity away from towns, and gave it to the New York State DEC instead. This leaves many local legislators and community members wondering just what they can do to protect our critical resources given these constraints. The Sullivan County, NY Drilling Task Force has been working for many months on answering just this question.
Dr. Pammer will describe the work of a Gas Drilling Task Force in Sullivan County and their research on possible impacts, the authority of local municipal governments, and 21 recommendations that will be presented to their County Legislature . You can find a newspaper story about the report at
www.sc-democrat.com/news/002February/20/news.htm and the full report on the Sullivan County Division of Planning website: www.scgnet.us/index.asp?orgid=610&storyTypeID=&sid=&
Dr. Penningroth, Biochemist and Toxicologist, directs the Community Science Institute’s state-certified water testing laboratory. The CSI lab monitors water quality in Cayuga Lake and its tributary streams in partnership with citizen volunteers. He believes a reasonable estimate of drinking water that will be contaminated near drilling sites is between 1% and 5%. He will describe why and how to test private water wells so that land owners discover problems and have solid scientific evidence of pre-drilling, baseline water data should contamination occur.
Co-sponsored by: Social Ventures; Ithaca Health Alliance ; Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton; Department of City & Regional Planning/ Cornell University ; Sustainable Tompkins; CRESP Center for Transformative Action; Shaleshock Citizens Action Coalition; Back to Democracy.
For copies of informational handouts from the recent forum, Gas Drilling: Health Effects, Economics and the Watershed:
Questions or comments? shaleshock08-at-yahoo-dot-com or 202-368-8753