Updated 06/14/2012 06:36 PM
Cuomo may approve fracking in Southern Tier
Governor Cuomo could be taking the next step in bringing hydrofracking to New York State. It's reported that the governor is considering allowing the controversial procedure in certain areas of the Southern Tier. Our Melissa Kakareka has more on exactly what the proposal would allow.
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BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. -- Kirkwood is one of about two dozen towns in the Southern Tier that has signed a resolution supporting natural gas drilling.
"Our thoughts are let DEC do their job. We don't see the need for a ban or moratorium, just let DEC do their job and we will support that as long as it has the proper safeguards," said Kirkwood Supervisor Gordon Kniffen.
Now towns such as Kirkwood could be among the first areas to see hydrofracking approved in New York State.
Reports have surfaced that Governor Cuomo's administration is considering a plan that would allow the procedure on a limited basis in many Southern Tier counties like Broome, Tioga, Steuben and Chenango. It would only be allowed in towns within those counties that want it and only in the deepest areas of the Marcellus Shale.
"I think that if this is true, the governor's making the right decision that if the DEC does come out with the regulations, that we can move forward with hydrofracking and that we do it slowly," said Broome County Executive Debbie Preston.
Many pro-drilling advocates say that if approved the proposal would be a victory for them after a long battle with anti-fracking advocates who oppose the procedure due to environmental concerns.
"This is very good news for us to see that we are moving forward in New York State and we're very excited about it, we've got a lot of momentum going," said Joint Landowners Coalition of New York President Dan Fitzsimmons.
Still no drilling can occur in the Southern Tier or the rest of the state until the DEC releases its environmental impact statement.
Many local town supervisors also traveled to Albany Thursday to urge the governor to approve the plan.
Other anti-fracking advocates have planned rallies around the state to show their opposition.