Marcellus Shale and the Southern Tier

“Southern Tier Central Regional Planning and Development Board” claims to work “with local government, economic and community development organizations, and human services agencies to bring millions of dollars to the region. With updated technology and improved communication, STC continues its work, collaborating with the region’s other resources, to find solutions for today’s problems and needs.”  Given its purpose, the evident pro-fracking bias in the 2013 annual report comes as no surprise.  NYS county boards, mentioned in the following excerpt, may be similarly biased.

Excerpt from Southern Tier Central Regional Planning and Development Board’s 2013 Comprehensive Economic Development Document — Chapter 1, page 18

Marcellus Shale and the Southern Tier

Marcellus Shale development has been in the forefront of local planning since 2008. This region is already experiencing collateral development, induced employment, and housing market effects of ongoing Marcellus drilling in Pennsylvania. To address the risks/rewards of Marcellus Development each county government within the Southern Tier Central region has established a Marcellus Shale Task force. Furthermore, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation lead the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) update process. The SGEIS comment period ended in early 2012. A determination is expected by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation shortly. The NYS determination is at a standstill pending the results of the Health report.

Each county in the STC region has established a County Marcellus Task Force. These groups are responsible for communicating with each county legislature and municipalities. Each Marcellus Task Force in the STC region has been active and forward-thinking. The Task Forces have been responsible for hosting several trainings throughout the region. Furthermore, the task forces have produced guidance materials for local communities; these materials can be accessed by visiting

Drilling and drilling related activities have been underway in PA for a few years. As a result of Marcellus drilling in nearby Pennsylvania counties, this region has begun experiencing increased infrastructure investments and use. Marcellus activities have influenced the labor market in the STC region. Employees from trucking, engineering, and construction industries are being hired into the energy labor market; this is driving up wages and reducing the pool of available applicants. Induced employment (business growth) due to Marcellus drilling in PA has primarily affected businesses in Chemung County; lodging, food service, and professional services have been most strongly influenced. Housing market effects are already apparent; vacancy rates are down and monthly rents have increased. These impacts are expected to grow by orders of magnitude if drilling is permitted in NYS.

Marcellus development has been discussed at all levels of government. Some local governments have started planning for/against Marcellus drilling. Within the STC region four communities have expressed support for Marcellus drilling. One community has enacted a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. Approximately 13 local communities have passed pro-Marcellus resolutions. Just outside of the STC region, the town of Dryden and several other communities have permanently banned hydraulic fracturing through zoning; this local zoning against hydro-fracking is currently being evaluated by the courts. As of March 2013, zoning for/against hydraulic fracturing was unanimously supported by the courts. Given the support of the State Courts, communities are likely to enact hydro-fracking zoning ordinances (which may prohibit fracking entirely or which may direct fracking activities to industrial areas- to prevent land use conflicts).

About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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6 Responses to Marcellus Shale and the Southern Tier

  1. Bob McGILL says:

    YOU SAY “The NYS determination is at a standstill pending the results of the Health report.”
    WELL GUESS WHAT !!! the health department and it’s experts finished with this in January but the Democratic Governer is afraid the democrats will lose the November elections if he reveals the results


  2. whungerford says:

    Bob, the statement you quote is from the Southern Tier Central Regional Planning and Development Board’s 2013 Comprehensive Economic Development Document cited in the article.


  3. Deb Meeker says:

    I see what the writer means about the report. All “great employment”, and no suggestion of the problems PA has dealt with in terms of air, water, and land use. Also, some who have fracking contracts in these ares, have reportedly not been paid their full share described in the contracts. Instead they have reported the companies have reduced the contractee’s royalties for “fees and production costs” by as much as 90% from their expected payments.


  4. Bob McGILL says:

    the statement means nothing. The only point I am trying to make is that the Governor is hiding the results of the Dept. of Health study because it will destroy his environmental base in the upcoming elections. When the people that are sitting on the gas find out they missed the boat because they were deceived by Andy they will retaliate in the voting booth !!!!!! Gas prices are falling,gas companies are pulling out of NY and farmers are going broke when the gas royalties might have saved them. NICE JOB ANDY


  5. whungerford says:

    Bob, I think the picture of a hard pressed owner of a mineral-rich property, needing income from gas leases to pay current bills — to buy seeds for the spring planting, perhaps — is a false one in most cases. A person in that situation could take out a mortgage or sell the mineral rights to a speculator. The real hope of landowners is that if fracking is approved in NY, the value of their property will shoot up — a windfall at the expense of our environment.


  6. bob mcgill says:

    A person in that situation could take out a mortgage or sell the mineral rights to a speculator.—————With a ban in place ? Who is that stupid to buy mineral rights for what they are really worth with no payback in sight ? MOST farms are mortgaged already.


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