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> Planning - Municipal Tools for Addressing Potential Gas Drilling Impacts

Municipal Tools
for Addressing Potential Gas Drilling Impacts

The information presented here is the result of a yearlong collaboration between the Tompkins County Council of Governments (TCCOG) and Tompkins County Planning Department. The TCCOG Gas Drilling Task Force has met regularly since May 2010 and has been discussing how municipalities can address issues related to gas drilling. An additional planner position, supported by Park Foundation funding, was added to the Planning Department staff to assist with this effort.

Even though NYSDEC regulates the well pads and drilling processes, there are a number of other uses that could only be regulated by municipalities including such uses as truck terminals that may cause traffic congestion, dust, and so on. Municipalities can require such uses to be located only in industrially zoned areas or use the site plan review process to ensure compatibility with adjacent uses.

In order to begin to understand the potential impacts that natural gas extraction and ancillary uses might have on communities, we encourage municipalities to take the following steps:

  • Educate your municipal board and the public on the HVHF process and potential land use impacts.
  • Determine how and where the DEC will permit gas drilling based on the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement.
  • Assess where gas drilling could take place in your community based on lease patterns, although this could change over time.
  • Utilize the Municipal Tools list and prioritize a review of current plans, laws and regulations or the adoption of new plans, laws and regulations, as applicable to your community.

Scroll through the Municipal Tools and you'll find these topics:

  • Review Your Comprehensive Plan
  • Review Zoning Ordinance
  • Review Site Plan Regulations
  • Apply Special Use Permits to Certain Uses
  • Roads Protection
  • Designate Critical Environmental Areas (CEA)
  • Aquifer Protection Regulation
  • Wellhead Protection Regulation
  • Noise, Lighting and Air Standards
  • Viewshed (or Scenic Resource) Overlay District
  • Tree Preservation
  • Adopt Pipeline Regulations
  • Manufactured Home Park (MHP) Regulations
  • Subdivision Regulations
  • Floodplain Regulations
  • Extractive Mining Regulations
  • Construction and Post-Construction Stormwater Runoff Control
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elmination Regulations
  • Wetlands
  • Fees