Pennsylvanian Ron Gulla has farmed since he was ten years old. He worked his way through college to get a degree in business administration. He and his wife Laurel have raised two children on their 118-acre farm, where they have had first-hand experience with a well on their property.
Five-term supervisor of the Town of Caroline, Don Barber grew up on a dairy farm in Danby and still lives on a small farm with his family. He chairs the Tompkins County Council of Governments and also owns a successful residential construction company.
Natural Gas Drilling and Local Government Responsibility
To Protect the Health, Safety, and Well Being of its Citizens
by Don Barber
In general local governments need to find ways to insert themselves into a process that the State has written us out of.
Potential action steps:
1. Develop overweight vehicle permits and driveway permits to protect your roads and create direct contact/negotiations with the drilling firm.
2. Identify and legislate critical environmental areas (CEA) within your municipality. DEC must then perform site specific SEQR review for permit applications which affect these CEA’s
3. Contact every State Legislator, Governor Paterson and his Deputy Secretary for the Environment, and the DEC Commissioner that we need:
• Notification of permit applications and permits issued;
• Emergency Services need contact info, hazardous material info, gas fire training;
• Fuel production tax or Severance tax to create proper revenues to local governments - tax revenue to support DEC oversight program
4. Contact State Legislators requesting that ECL Section 23-0303 be amended so that local governments become involved agencies for SEQR review. And to support S8748 Natural Gas Drilling Prohibition Near Watershed
5. Contact your Congressperson and US Senator to support HR 2766 Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act of 2009.
Don Barber- Chair Tompkins County Council of Governments, Supervisor Town of Caroline, supervisor at townofcaroline.org
Thanks to Essential Dissent, Binghamton, NY, for this video.