Hemlock/Canadice Lakes, N.Y. - Even though New York State hasn't given the go-ahead for the gas drilling process, the D.E.C. is studying the possibility of fracking near the only un-developed Finger Lakes --Hemlock and Canadice.
“It should be kept, probably pristine, like it is," said Tom Macpherson. He moved to Hemlock years ago, and is among those with no interest in gas or oil drilling around Hemlock Lake.
“It could ruin the lakes,” he said. “This is a toxic heavy industrial activity and it could transform this entire area into an industrial area."
“It'll be a short term boom and long term bust," said Alpaca farm owner Bob Thompson.
The State Department Environmental Conservation does not completely agree. In what’s called a “Draft Unit Management Plan” for Hemlock and Canadice Lakes, the door was left open for gas exploration in these two undeveloped Finger Lakes.
The draft also outlines a minimum five years lease should they be approved by the D.E.C.
One truck driver for a company transporting fluids to gas drilling companies has had enough of the environmentalist's concerns. “Everybody says, ‘Oh, our drinking water!’ I…don't agree with that."
There are no plans of action for gas or oil development at these lakes at this point. For now, the D.E.C. wants to hear from the public.
In a statement sent to 13WHAM News Tuesday afternoon, the D.E.C. provided an update:
"The draft SGEIS (Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement) and regulations would not allow high-volume hydraulic fracturing surface drilling on state lands and it is unlikely any other drilling would occur on the lands in Hemlock-Canadice State Forest given its many unique characteristics. Based on these factors, the State has no intention of allowing any sort of drilling in the Hemlock-Canadice State Forest."
There are several public meetings on the subject are scheduled. The first will be held at 7 p.m. March 14 at the Springwater Fire Hall.
Find out more at this DEC Web site.