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December 06, 2016
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Hydrofracking and rural don’t mix

Presently we are on track for such a future, even without Mr. Shepstone’s guidance. We might as well hope, if we stay on the track, that the industry will decide to go whole hog. If it doesn’t, the town can expect something worse than affluent industrialization: the negative impacts of drilling with no economic boost at all. We should therefore abandon all thoughts of allowing but limiting gas development.

These considerations are why so many communities have arrived at the conclusion that zoning out drilling is the only choice that small, rural towns have if they like being rural. Cochecton residents say they like being rural, and their Comprehensive Plan reflects that sentiment. And unless we commit now to revising our zoning law to reject it, the offer will soon be deemed accepted on default. The granting of a drilling permit by the DEC to drill in Cochecton could happen in a matter of months, putting an end to local control and deciding our future for us.

[Grace van Hulsteyn is a resident of Cochecton, NY.]