Chautauqua County Legislature recently held an informational meeting for lawmakers on the controversial subject of high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing for methane gas. The lawmakers first heard from hydrologist Kim Sherwood, a member of the Chautauqua County Water Quality Task Force. Sherwood contrasted the potential wealth for some from HVHF fracking to the multiple impacts for many: a potential diminished quality of life, water depletion and spoilage, solid and liquid waste management issues, light and noise pollution. Sherwood called for strong NY Dept of Conservation (DEC) regulation and inspection if NY State lifts its current ban on horizontal fracking. Sherwood spoke for 30 minutes.
Bill Boria, water quality specialist with the Chautauqua County Dept. of Health was the second of the five speakers. Boria outlined the number of complaints about gas wells over the last 30 years, but noted that the division of DEC that the County must work with to address gas well problems was less than responsive. Boria concludes, "You can have all the regulations in the world (but) if you have insufficient staff, they are no good." Boria spoke for 20 minutes. The other speakers were Glenn Wahl (geology instructor); Mike Hogan (gas and oil consultant), and Mary Hajdu (landowners attorney). The latter three speakers will be shown in part two of this series to be shown at a later date.
The March 19 legislative meeting was filmed by the Mayville-based film group, Snowshoefilms, for Channel 5 Public Access TV.
The program will air on Access Channel 5 at 12:50 and 6:50 p.m. each day beginning on April 26 with the last airing on May 2.
Access Channel 5 is available to cable viewers in the Chautauqua, Mayville, North Harmony, Portland, Sherman, and Westfield areas. Viewers should note that all area public access channels have been dropped from Time Warner's analog service, but can be received on digital service with a converter at their legacy channel assignment, or on a QAM digital television (channel varies by system) that has been recently autoscanned. Programming from Access Channel 5 (channel 21.4 on a QAM digital TV) is also aired each evening in the Town of Hanover on cable channel 12 (channel 98.3 on a QAM digital TV).