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O'Mara, Palmesano hear fracking concerns

    PENN YAN–State Sen. Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R-C-I, Corning) held a community meeting at the Penn Yan Village Hall on Monday, Dec 5. The meeting was geared towards giving local residents the chance to express their thoughts and concerns about fracking in the area.
    Over 30 people filled the meeting room for the two hour long summit and bombarded both politicians with comments expressing outrage towards hydrofracking around the Finger Lakes. One resident firmly let the pair know that water is the most valuable asset in the Finger Lakes region and that drilling could take that resource away. “The end of our lifestyle as we know it,” another audience member noted.
    Five of those in attendance also expressed concerns about how businesses such as local wineries could lose money if environmental conditions scare tourists away. Members of the audience strongly urged both the senator and assemblyman to do everything in their powers to prevent the Department of Environmental Conservation from allowing the drilling to take place or, at the very least, make sure it was not hazardous.
    Neither politician would take a stand against hydrofracking and many attendees at the meeting voiced their disagreement. However, both politicians agreed that it was essential to make sure the drilling was safe. Palmesano made it known of the importance of making sure the DEC had proper regulations in place and O’Mara said that oil companies with “appropriate manpower” were the only ones who should be allowed to receive drilling permits.
    Attendees at the meeting also wanted it to be assured that major gas companies would be responsible for any spills or damages that may be caused by drilling. Both the senator and assemblyman agreed and O’Mara even told the audience that he talks regularly with the DEC to address these issues.



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