An educational seminar on natural gas exploration is scheduled for

Monday April 11th, from 7pm to 9pm at the New York State Grange Headquarters in Cortland, NY.

The seminar will focus on the issues associated with natural gas production in shale formations and lessons learned by our neighbors in northern Pennsylvania (PA).

With over 400 wells, Bradford County, PA is considered to be at the forefront of development in the Marcellus shale “natural gas play”. When the race for natural gas development in shale formations came to PA, the State and Bradford County were not as prepared as they would like to have been. The PA Department of Environmental Protection was quick to issue permits for extracting gas through the use of horizontal hydrofracturing. Horizontal hydrofracturing brought a wide range of opportunities and impacts to the local communities.

With the current moratorium on horizontal hydrofracturing in New York State, local communities have an opportunity to hear firsthand what is happening in northern PA in order to be better prepared for natural gas development, should it come here. With over 30 years of experience at the Bradford County Conservation District, Manager Mike Lovegreen knows every nook and cranny of his county and has seen firsthand the impact this industry can have on small rural communities. Mike will be discussing his experiences relating to the natural gas industry and what the Conservation District and local municipalities roles are regarding issues such as water quality monitoring, roads, economic development, etc. He will discuss the importance of maintaining a good working relationship between local government, the gas industry and the community. All landowners, local officials and community members are invited to attend this informational seminar focusing on Bradford County’s experiences with the natural gas boom of recent years.

This seminar is sponsored by the Cortland County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and is free and open to the public. If you have any questions about the seminar or any of the services or programs provided by the SWCD please call 607-756-5991 or visit the SWCD website at


Previous presentation

Mike Lovegreen, Bradford County Conservation District Manager, spoke at the Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee meeting on Tuesday, February 22 on first-hand experiences there. He had a lot of interesting things to say — some expected, some not. The boom town information is worth a look. Please see the article in the current issue of OCCA’s newsletter, “The Lookout.” A video is available, and there is a link to his PowerPoint presentation on the OCCA website homepage.



Most of what has happened in Pennsylvania is a good lesson – in what not to do:

1. The major assets – the gas wells themselves – are tax exempt from property (ad valorem) tax in Pa.

The schools, counties, towns get nothing from them = zero.

Pa. is perhaps the only (?) state that exempts gas wells from local property tax.

Payoffs in Harrisburg that keep it this way.

No money for regulation, no money for EMS, for roads, nada

2. The product – natural gas –  is tax exempt under Pa. law – one of only 2 states (with gas production) that exempts it

Because Pa. has the best politicians that money can buy. No money for regulation, for roads, for nada

3. Since most of the producers, suppliers and crews are from out of state,  most of the money leaves the state tax free

4. The fracking flowback ends up on the roads and rivers in Pa. because there is no safe place to dispose of it in Pa.

The closest disposal wells are across the state line in Ohio.

So it gets dumped illegally or sold as “de-icer”. They catch some dumpers – most they don’t.

“Recycling/re-use” simply increases the toxicity with  each pass.

“Processing” simply separates the toxic radioactive sludge from the toxic radioactive water.

So far as shale gas development is concerned, Pa. is a bad joke.

More like a 3rd world country.

Suggest you treat any “expert” from Pa. accordingly. . .

James Northrup

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