Natural Gas Drilling: How it’s potentially influencing our vineyards

The Lake Erie Regions of Pennsylvania and Ohio and the Finger Lakes
of New York are blessed with beautiful scenery, rich soils, plentiful
water and excellent climates for grape growing and wine production.
Grapes are not the only thing that grows well in these areas. Orchards,
fruit farms and livestock are plentiful too. For wine lovers, like me,
they are a get away, a place to escape to for a weekend to enjoy the
beautiful scenery, fantastic food and plentiful wine.
Wine and agritourism are not the only treasures that these areas have to offer. One of the greatest treasures these areas share is not something to be visited at all. These treasures exist far below the
earth’s surface. From the tip of the Finger Lakes in New York through
Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio the natural gas and oil rich
Marcellus Shale formation extends with finger tips reaching into
Virginia and Tennessee. It is estimated that the Marcellus shale
contains 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Marcellus shale
extraction and resulting oil and natural gas production is expected to
provide more than 200,000 jobs and produce 87 billion gallons of oil,
which is equal to 12 years of US oil consumption.

Intense oil well construction has not yet begun in the Lake Erie Region, but the beginnings of Marcellus Shale drilling has been a big cause for concern in the wine growing regions of the New York Finger
Lakes. Vineyard owners are concerned about the effect the drilling will
have on their water sources, their land, their soil and the overall
tranquility of the area. More

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Comment by Robin Fehrenbach Scala on August 21, 2010 at 5:55pm
There is little chance that marcellus shale production will even be feasible in the area referred to here. The shale is not deep enough or good enough for drilling to happen EVERYWHERE. Most likely there will be no interest anyway by gas companies.
Very little is expected to happen north or west of Chemung County NY, only east of that area. So, the vinyards and drunks have nothing to worry about.
Comment by Brian Oram, PG on August 13, 2010 at 12:08am
I will be honest I am a little confused on this posting. If the landowners are interested in leasing, I would assume that would negoitiate the lost value of the revenue for the crop or have specific discussions about "soil fertility and soil quality issues" and if necessary develop specific practicies to minimize impact on the crop. If you concerned about the water quality, I would assume the vineyards have consumptive use permits and allocations like in other areas.
Comment by David Broscius on August 12, 2010 at 10:54am
I dont think they are drilling in NY anymore but they are very busy in PA. I couldnt afford the property taxes in NY for a farm like mine evern though farms are a lot cheaper there.
Comment by Sam Douglass on August 4, 2010 at 9:16pm
The unknown is always the subject of fear. Most people are in the process of learning about the Marcellus and its risks. Of some help is Googling "Barnett Shale" where there has been a longer and more intensive experience. A lot of the specific concerns have disappeared after investigation. It is still stated with accuracy [as far as I have been able to learn] that no one has proved problems from fracking a mile beneath the surface of the earth. Spilling frack water is a different thing. That has happened on the surface and is a legitimate concern. When that happens, we can take some comfort from the fact that the companies that drill these multi million dollar wells as part of enormous project, have the money for the clean-up. Not a perfect solution, but possibly a substantial comfort. Range Resources has identified the nature of the chemicals that are said to make up 0.5 % of the fracking fluid. Maybe other are doing the same now.
Comment by sue a warner on August 4, 2010 at 2:24pm
I see your point- BUT- what of the long lasting effects of, alcohol abuse, and drinking and driving? I know it makes me nervous driving 14NORTH! You can count endless bmw's, volvo's swerving endlessly the double yellow line. It's frustrating not to be able to take in all the beauty the fingerlakes has because some drunkard is sloshed at the wheel! As far as developing the marcellous shale in this area, it is a whole lotta jobs and money for a few "maybe's". The drinking and driving thing- now thats a fact!
Comment by Keith Mauck (Site Publisher) on August 3, 2010 at 4:59pm
Other than bringing in potentially new customers and some additional road traffic, I don't think there will be any long term effects on the vineyards. After the initial drilling, the traffic will die down. I think there could be some jockeying for sources of water, but I'm not familiar with the irrigation practices of a vineyard.

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