The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

October 23, 2012

In our opinion: Cheers

The Daily Star

---- — To the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for adding a public hearing in Oneonta on the proposed Constitution pipeline and for extending the period for public comments on the environmental impact of the gas transmission system to Nov. 9.

The local hearing will be from 7 to 10 p.m. Wednesday at the Foothills Performing Arts and Civic Center.

The first three hearings were held in Afton, Schoharie and in Susquehanna County, Pa. Critics on both sides of the issue said those locations were so far away from Otsego and Delaware county residents that it made getting to the events difficult.

FERC’s assertion that it was unable to find any space in Oneonta capable of accommodating up to 400 people was ridiculous, as Foothills was designed for such a purpose.

Now that we have a hearing, we encourage people to let their views be heard.

To the Otsego County Conservation Association for its efforts to conduct baseline water testing throughout the county.

The data culled from the research will provide baseline information against which comparisons can be made if gas drilling or other new industrial activity comes into the county. OCCA Board of Directors President Vicky M. Lentz said the information that will be produced by the research could be used for numerous other purposes.

Testing will begin when the organization raises $80,000 to start the research, which will give the organization enough money to fund the testing of 83 wells.

Water is our most precious resource, so it is important to know everything we can before any potential polluting industry comes to our area.

To seeing the expansion of uses on New York City-owned reservoirs at work.

For decades, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection offered limited access to the property. The DEP first allowed hiking and hunting on city-owned land, and in the last few years, opened up the water to recreational boating.

A wonderful example of this expansion was the use of the Pepacton Reservoir as the first leg in The United States Adventure Racing Association Championship. The 30-hour, 100-mile event began Oct. 12 with a 12-mile paddle. The race included 165 competitors from around the nation who paddled, biked, ran trails and raced through an orienteering course in Delaware, Sullivan and Ulster counties.

Allowing more uses of the reservoirs can be a boon to the local economy. The limits on the reservoirs give boaters who want to enjoy the water without worry about the wake of motorized boats a place to go.

We hope to see more races like that come to our local reservoirs in the future.