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Local News

January 21, 2013

Conservation group to speak on water monitoring

The importance of water monitoring before fracking begins in New York state will be the subject of the next meeting of an Otsego County environmental group.  

Otsego County Soil & Water Conservation District Manager Scott Fickbohm will give a presentation on baseline monitoring to protect water resources at the next Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee meeting Wednesday, Jan. 30.

The WQCC meeting, which will begin at 1 p.m. in Classroom A of The Meadows Office Building at 140 County Highway 33W in Cooperstown, will be hosted by the Otsego County Planning Department. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required by Jan. 28. To register, email WQCC Facilitator Darla M. Youngs at admin@occainfo.org or call 547-4488.

Fickbohm will discuss the role of baseline surface water quality monitoring relative to potential gas drilling in Otsego County. He will describe the evolving process, the benefits of a collaborative approach, current methods and protocol, and monitoring results to date. The presentation will also look at how the monitoring effort might play out if the county experiences widespread and intense high-volume hydraulic fracturing. A new initiative, “Hydrofracking, Climate Change and the Chesapeake Bay: A Basin-wide Water Quality Monitoring Protocol for Central New York,” will also be discussed.

The presentation is part of a new effort of the WQCC to include public information sessions in its monthly meetings as a means of greater public outreach. The committee was established in 1992 as a sub-committee of the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District. It is composed of representatives of state and local government agencies, nonprofit organizations, academic institutions and lake associations. The committee is tasked with working to improve and maintain the quality of water in Otsego County through the reduction of nonpoint source pollution within its boundaries.

For more information on the WQCC, visit www.otsegosoilandwater.com/waterqualitycc.html.

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