The purpose of the this website is to serve as an educational forum for landowners so they can make wise decisions about their property and maximize economic benefits, while minimizing negative impacts.
While New York State has a rich history of natural gas exploration, there has been a resurgence and interest beginning in the early 2000s with the results of drilling in the Trenton-Black River formation and especially during 2007-2008 with news of substantial amount of natural gas reserves locked away in the Marcellus Shale formation in New York's Southern Tier.
In July 2008, Governor Paterson signed a bill extending New York's statewide spacing unit sizes and setbacks to include additional wells, drilling activities such as horizontal drilling, and defining the requirements for the number of wells that can be located within a spacing unit. The intent of the law was to provide greater efficiency in the permitting process while continuing to offer environmental and public health safeguards.
In parallel with the signing of this bill, the Governor directed the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to prepare an updated Generic Environmental Impact Statement under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) to ensure that environmental impacts from drilling, specifically horizontal drilling utilizing high volume hydrofracturing, were being addressed.
Although (horizontal) drilling activity in the Marcellus Shale was temporarily postponed as a result of this environmental review by the DEC, drilling activity began in earnest just south of New York's border in Bradford and Susquehanna counties in Pennsylvania.
This temporary postponement of full-scale development has provided many opportunities for landowners, business leaders, government officials, and concerned citizens the additional time needed to evaluate the full impacts (both positive and negative) of what natural gas exploration, particularly in the Marcellus Shale, in New York State could become. During this timeframe there has been a siginificant amount of information (and misinformation) published in relation to natural gas exploration. This timeframe has also provided an opportunity for numerous landowner coalitions to be formed.
This website has been developed to provide a clearing house of information on natural gas exploration in New York State and other areas, as well as specifically providing information for landowners on how to get a landowner coalition established.
If you have ever any suggestions, weblinks, or other resources you would like to share, then please feel free to contact us.