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Fracking not likely in Van Buren

— “I’m not going to tell you that there will never be a drill in Van Buren,” Plumley said, but he didn’t expect a lot of activity in this area.

Hydrofracking is a process in which large amounts of water, combined with smaller amounts of chemicals and sand, are pumped under high pressure into a drilled gas well. The technique is considered controversial because of potential environmental impacts including contamination of ground water, surface contamination from spills and flowback, and risks to air quality among other concerns. Currently restricted in New York as the state government has been reviewing the pros and cons of the controversial process, legislation allowing or banning hydrofracking has yet to be drafted.

Plumley briefly discussed vertical drilling, a practice that was common in Baldwinsville in the 1890s and early 1900s. He said numerous wells were drilled throughout Van Buren, Lysander and Elbridge and some still exist today. The gas traveled through fractures in Adirondack rock, which is 3,000 feet into the ground. By vertical drilling, people were able to access pockets of gas, which lit hotels, street lamps and homes. By the 1930s, however, most of the supply was depleted.

To view the Powerpoint presentation provided by Plumley Engineering, visit http://www.townofvanburen.com/docs/Hydrofracking%20Presentation%20Powerpoint%20February%202013.pdf.

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