Natural Gas Drilling - Information For Local Governments

NYS DEC

Mineral Resources

Environmental Notice Bulletin

Track natural gas activities in your region included Notices of Intent to Issue Well Permits and Spacing Orders

 

 

Sullivan County Natural Gas Taskforce Report

Understanding Impacts and Protecting Public Assets

Energy Boomtown & Natural Gas

Implications for Marcellus Shale Local Governments & Rural Communities by the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, the Pennsylvania State University

- A webinar hosted by Cornell University Extension

Click for link
What do municipal officials need to know about Marcellus Shale gas leasing and drilling?

SUMMARY OF GOVERNMENT JURISDICTION OVER NATURAL GAS DRILLING OPERATIONS IN NEW YORK STATE

The Article 23, Title 3 of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) delegates all authority to regulate natural gas drilling to the NYS DEC.  The ECL specifies that local governments retain jurisdiction over local roads and their rights under the Real Property Tax Law. 

Towns wishing to exert jurisdiction over local roads in an attempt to mitigate potential impacts have several options under Section 1660 of the Vehicle Traffic Laws. 

Strategies towns may employ include:

1. The Town Board may establishing truck routes for through traffic

CLICK HERE FOR THE LANGUAGE FROM THE VEHICLE TRAFFIC LAWS

2. Posting roads and establishing weight limits

CLICK HERE FOR SAMPLE WEIGHT LIMIT LOCAL LAWS

CLICK HERE FOR DISCUSSION OF TEMPORARY (SPRING) WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS

3. Issuing hauling permits for local roads (this may be a simple as accepting the NYS DOT hauling permit as the local permit)

4. Controlling curb cuts through highway work permits

5. Establishing a Road Preservation Local Law that requires haulers to establish bonds

Please call the Planning Department for information regarding a local road preservation law

Broome County is currently considering a law that specifically targets traffic associated with natural gas activities.  Broome County's proposed law includes provisions for a permit to operate a natural gas vehicle, insurance, bonding, an escrow account and a road damage remediation account.  Contact the Planning Dept for information on this law. 

6. Adopt a highway work permit with special permit conditions that apply to seismic testing

CLICK HERE FOR SAMPLE SPECIAL PERMIT CONDITIONS

(CALL THE PLANNING DEPT FOR INFORMATION ON OTHER CONDITIONS THAT MAY BE IMPOSED.

7. Noise Ordinances to regulate noise from temporary noise sources (drill rigs), portable noise sources (portable generators and compressors), permanent non-portable noise sources (large generators and compressors at well heads and on transmission lines), mobile equipment (earth moving equipment, vibraseis trucks), etc. 

               CLICK HERE FOR SAMPLE NOISE ORDINANCES AT

               THE NOISE POLLUTION CLEARINGHOUSE LAW

               LIBRARY

The Planning Department encourages any towns or villages wishing to exercise any of the above strategies to contact the Association of Towns (518-465-7933) or the Cornell Local Roads Program (607-255-8033) and the town/village attorney.

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

It is the Planning Department’s understanding that NYS DEC routinely requires natural gas companies to notify local governments via certified mail at the time a drilling permit is issued. The drilling permit will contain a condition that the natural gas company comply with all applicable regulations and required permits, however, it is unlikely that the permit will specifically mention specific laws, such as a road preservation law or noise ordinance. 

 

 The Town should notify the drilling company of the local laws pertaining to roads and noise and any requirements the town has, such as truck routes, hauling permits and bonds immediately upon receiving the required notification from the company. In addition, the Town may want to request that NYS DEC include as a specific permit condition that requires drillers to comply with the local laws. 

Recent reports from local officials visiting governments in Texas indicate that the most common long-term impact from the exploration and production of natural gas is noise from permanent compressor stations along gas pipelines. Erik Miller, Director of OCCA, indicated in his August 6th presentation that local governments may be able to exert some control over land use issues associated with the development of the natural gas transmission infrastructure.