Broome County Launches Online Resource For Natural Gas Drilling Issue

01.28.14 | Bob Price

While the natural gas drilling debate continues in New York state, officials in Broome County have launched a website designed as a hub for resources related to the industry.

The new site, www.broomenaturalgas.com, launched Tuesday after a year of development and research conducted by the Broome County Executive and Energy Development offices. The site provides a comprehensive look at current information and services related to the natural gas drilling industry, Executive Debbie Preston said.

“I want to make this clear ... this is not a push to promote safe natural gas drilling in New York state,” said Preston, a Republican who supports drilling in the Marcellus Shale. “This is more a ‘one-stop shop’ to answer people’s questions about gas drilling.”

New York officials have been considering whether to permit hydraulic fracturing, a natural gas drilling technique also known as hydrofracking, since 2008. The process is allowed in several other states, including Pennsylvania.

Margaret Scarinzi, director of the Broome County Energy Development Office, said the county’s new site cost roughly $6,000 to launch.

The site includes information for homeowners about possible contracts with gas companies, a listing of pipelines in Broome County that are proposed or already in existence, information and news for and against drilling, water and well safety, and other resources for residents and businesses.

“There’s so many questions out there on both sides,” Preston said. “Is there anything missing on this site? Probably. As the hydrofracking issue makes progress, we will continue to update this site.”