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County Line Landowners Coalition Newsletter
January, 2013

Past Newsletters

Really good news!!!!:

In Broome County a court case brought by our attorneys (Levene, Gouldin and Thompson LLP), on behalf of some of our leased members, has resulted in a decision that Force Majeure does not exist. For the people in the group involved, this means that their leases cannot be extended past the expiration date because of the delay in permitting due to the need for a thorough environmental review. Chesapeake energy has until Saturday, December 15 to appeal this decision. Keep in contact while we find out how this will impact our leased members who were not a part of this court case but may benefit greatly by the precedent it sets.

The delay resulting from NYSDEC's preparation of the draft Supplement Generic Environmental Impact Statement (dSGEIS) for high pressure-high volume gas shale fracturing has created much frustration among Southern Tier landowners. The dSGEIS must comply with the State Environmental Review Act (SEQR). In fact, all State and local Government Agencies must comply with SEQR, which requires consideration of potential environmental impacts, both positive and negative. So, rather than being unusual, the State's activities were to be expected. The understandable frustration and confusion prompt the following items for your consideration:

  1. The dSGEIS must comply fully with the requirements of SEQR, including a review of ALL potential impacts. To do less invites court challenge of the document, creating additional, unwelcome delay. The Department is responding now to the need to include a review of potential health issues to assure that the dSGEIS is in full compliance and defensible in the face of lawsuit. No reason has been given as to why NYSDEC did not include potential health impacts right from the start.
  2. The NYSDEC has issued a 30 day extension to the ongoing public review and comment period for the regulation developed to guide NYSDEC review of applications for high-volume-high pressure shale fracturing. This additional 30 day review period began December 11, 2012; NYSDEC received comments in writing or electronically through January 11, 2013. The regulation can be reveiwed by visiting www.dec.ny.gov/77353.html. The additional 30 days provides opportunity for the public to review and comment on changes made in response to the comments received during an initial 90 day public review of the original regulation. Since the dSGEIS has not been completed it should be expected that the information developed during review of potential health issues will influence the regulations.
  3. Marcellus Shale is not the only formation under our feet. The Utica Shale is also present and early indications are that this formation may be even more productive than the Marcellus in our area. The "sweet spot" for Marcellus Shale is in Pennsylvania and borders counties of the Southern Tier. The Utica Shale will surely insure real interest of the energy companies in our lands.
  4. REMEMBER, the gas is here in at least two shale formations. It is not going away. The energy industry wants it. The energy industry wants it as cheap as it can get it. Don't let impatience or frustration cause you to lease for less than the real value of your mineral holdings.
  5. We are slowly increasing our membership. Mailings to those not yet members provided a few new members. Remember, there is no commitment to sign a lease nor is there any cost to join. Let your friends and neighbors know we are still working to accomplish the mission of our coalition. The more land around yours that is part of the coalition, the greater will be the value of your land to energy companies.
  6. While the delay brought about by the NYSDEC environmental review has been seen as causing the energy industry to slow down its effort in our area this is only part of the explanation. As reported in several energy periodicals and web sites as a result of falling natural gas prices the energy companies have suffered financial problems, some of them severe. In contrast, oil prices have climbed; therefore energy companies have moved into this area of mineral development. Do not believe that we have been left out. We have the gas. Our lease is ready when the energy companies return to shale gas development and New York State is "open for business". Please keep in contact with us via our web page or by writing or calling the contacts found there.

County Line Landowners Coalition Boundary Map
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It is the vision of this Coalition that its efforts produce a Gas Lease for its members which protects and acknowledges the interests of the landowner, agri-businesses, and all New Yorkers with the least amount of negative impacts. We seek continued environmental and wildlife habit preservation and protection as the Marcellus Shale Play becomes a world player in the production of a greener fuel.

Mission Statement

The mission of the County Line Landowners Coalition is to unify Northern Broome County and Southern Cortland County landowners, to protect each member's mineral rights interests, to preserve our environment and neighborhoods, to collect, share and guide landowners through the maze of information and to be a strong group of knowledgeable landowners who develop and secure a beneficial mineral rights lease for all concerned.

County Line Coalition Objectives

Gather and disseminate information to landowners:

To enable members to make informed decisions about leasing land

To increase awareness of mineral and property rights

To hold public informational meetings with leaders in the gas drilling field

To develop a user friendly website


Organize landowners into a large negotiating block:

To secure lease terms that are best for all as a group

To maximize lease payments and royalty percentages

To secure lease terms that protect the landowner and property

To minimize environmental impacts and maximize environmental awareness

To secure the best and most experienced legal counsel