Read Ithaca council raises natural gas-drilling concerns by Krisy Gashler:
Raising concerns about drinking water, roads and safety for emergency responders, Ithaca’s Common Council is getting involved in the discussion about gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale.
The majority of the city’s watershed for its Six Mile Creek drinking water source is outside the city in the Towns of Ithaca and Caroline. Roughly 38 percent of the total land area in Tompkins County has already been leased for oil and gas drilling, including 12 percent in the Town of Ithaca and 49 percent in Caroline, according to gas lease deed information compiled by the citizen’s action group Shaleshock.
Common Council Planning Committee Chairwoman Jennifer Dotson, I-1st, said city officials have concerns in four major areas: water use and wastewater disposal; impact on roads and infrastructure; safety, especially for firefighters who may have to respond to fires or accidents at drilling sites; and the tax structure for oil and gas revenue.
The planning committee this week discussed strategies they could use to protect the city, including identifying critical natural areas, adopting road preservation laws, and demanding disclosure of all chemicals in hydro-fracturing (fracking) fluid before considering whether to accept it at the wastewater treatment plant, which discharges into Cayuga Lake. (Read more)