(Town of Lebanon, NY – July 2012) The Lebanon Town Board unanimously approved a resolution July 9 to invite Helen and David Slottje to speak. The pair run an environmental law firm in Ithaca and are architects of a local law being used to ban natural gas development. They will present local law options for a moratorium, ban and road use law concerning natural gas development in the town at a special meeting Saturday, July 28, 9 to 11 a.m., to be held at the Town Office in Lebanon. Another location may be identified if interest exceeds the building’s capacity.
Town officials agreed that a “vigorous exchange of ideas” was called for, and while no decision has been made on what direction the Town Board would move, town officials felt that it was appropriate to have this informational program to evaluate the pros and cons of a temporary moratorium on natural gas development, a road use law and a possible ban on drilling in the township, said Supervisor Jim Goldstein.
The public is invited to attend and will have an opportunity to ask questions or make comments after the presentation. Town board members are most interested in having Lebanon residents and property owners attend and offer feedback on the presentation or direction the town should consider.
Goldstein said recent indicators are that Gov. Andrew Cuomo may start having the state Department of Environmental Conservation issue permits for gas drilling in Marcellus Shale using high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the Southern Tier by September, which increases the urgency that the town board take steps and consider all options.
An initial survey conducted by Goldstein showed a significant number of respondents favoring a road use law in the town, a majority favoring a temporary moratorium on natural gas development and the town residents evenly divided on a ban on natural gas drilling.