Brewery Ommegang has been talking out of both sides of its mouth on the subject of water supplies and natural gas. It has been bad mouthing the natural gas industry for potentially threatening its water supply while securing special permits and a variance to discharge wastewater to the Susquehanna River, which is Binghamton’s water supply.
Sometimes you wonder how our friends on the other side manage to keep it together. Well, they don’t really, but the hypocrisy of those who, without thinking, rush into to oppose hydraulic fracturing and natural gas development often borders on the bizarre.
We’ve heard a lot over the last two years, for example, from a Cooperstown, New York brewery that goes by the name of Ommegang. They have issued all kinds of inflammatory statements about how the natural gas industry will, supposedly, threaten their source of water for the popular beers they produce just south of the famous village where the Deerslayer made his debut. They were a driving force in getting the Town of Middlefield to enact a contested ban on natural gas development.
Astoundingly, now the company itself plans to discharge 35,000 gallons per day of wastewater into the Susquehanna River, downstream of Binghamton’s source of drinking water. On October 1, 2012, Ommegang applied for and received a DEC permit to dump contaminants into the Susquehanna River and they also received special permission to horizontally drill their way under a wetland to the source of their proposed outfall.