Last week members of several local coalitions in Sullivan County, New York, came together for an educational meeting on the Ad-Valorem shale gas tax, as well as a screening of Truthland. According to Bob Williams of Windsor in Broome County the tax will work just like property tax and the money will flow directly back to the local community to be used to fix schools, hospitals, roads and more.
We discussed the need to look at Pennsylvania for examples of what occurs during natural gas development, but in reality, while Pennsylvania has an advantage in terms of experience with Marcellus development, New York will have even stricter regulation. Bob Williams started the presentation by going over a few ways New York will differentiate themselves from Pennsylvania in terms of shale gas development when the SGEIS (Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Study) is approved. According to Williams one difference is that an operator must complete a well pad within three years. This means from the day ground is first broken the operator must have the entire project completed with remediation within a three year period. In Pennsylvania an operator has the option to develop a couple wells and then return years later to develop, so full remediation of sites has not been a frequent occurrence at this time. New York is here to change up the shale gas development game.