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Comprehensive Plan would quietly allow gas drilling

January 23, 2013

Two related documents that will determine the future of our area warrant residents’ attention. Both contain significant statements on gas drilling. These documents are the 58-page draft comprehensive plan for the Town of Callicoon (November 2012) and the 115-page final Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan (2010).

Under the heading “Environmental Protection,” the latter reads, “Ensures that zoning allows for the review and permitting of gas drilling to the full extent feasible under state laws and requirements.” Why is the commitment to zoning that allows for the “permitting of [i.e. issuing permits for] gas drilling to the full extent feasible” not repeated in the draft comprehensive plan or even referenced there?

The comprehensive plan states, “Please note that the Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan is an integral part of this comprehensive plan update.” The Town is proposing separately a Resolution of Negative Declaration stating that the comprehensive plan “will not have any significant adverse environmental impacts, and that an environmental impact statement will not be required.”

Time is shrinking for residents to express their concern in one or more ways:

1. Make a statement at the public hearing on this topic—in accordance with law, only one is scheduled—on Wednesday, February 6, 7 p.m. at the town hall in Jeffersonville, NY.

2. Send an email message by February 6, 3 p.m. (preferably sooner) to Town of Callicoon Supervisor Thomas R. Bose (tocsupervisor@hvcbiz.rr.com) with cc: to town clerk Janet Brahm (toctownclerk@hvc.rr.com).

3. Send a letter for receipt before February 6 to Town of Callicoon Board, c/o Janet Brahm, Town of Callicoon, PO Box 687, Jeffersonville, NY 12748, or hand-deliver to 19 Legion Street, Jeffersonville.

Links to the documents cited above are posted at townofcallicoon.org under “Additional Information” as “Comprehensive Plan Draft – November 2012” and “Farmland Preservation” or on the home page.

Linda Reik
Town of Callicoon