BATAVIA, NY (AP) - In the latest salvo in local battles over gas drilling, a Batavia-based company said Monday it's shutting down wells and turning off the free gas to landowners in the the Town of Avon, which has passed a moratorium on drilling.
Local sentiment for or against gas drilling has taken on greater significance in New York since the Cuomo administration said the state Department of Environmental Conservation will consider local ordinances when it starts granting permits for shale drilling and hydraulic fracturing. The agency hasn't issued new permits since it started an environmental review in 2008; the review and new regulations are expected to be completed by the end of summer.
The New York Times quoted unnamed state officials last month as saying that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is likely to allow shale drilling only in towns that have proclaimed their support, in the five counties near the Pennsylvania state line where gas is considered to be most plentiful.
The town of Avon, Livingston County, passed a one-year moratorium on gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing on June 28. Lenape Resources of Batavia has more than 5,000 acres under lease and 16 wells in production in the town. None used the horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing that would be covered by regulations now under development.
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