Back in business
MILANVILLE, PA — During most of January and into February, Barbara Yeaman’s roof-top solar panels were entombed in snow, as reported in TRR on February 10. Cold weather is no problem, but sunbeams don’t generate electricity until they reach the panels. Yeaman solved the problem by
ordering a roof rake with a soft, plastic tip. As son Bill cleared panel surfaces on February 12, Yeaman’s solar meter revived and her PPL electric meter shifted into reverse, as it will during daylight hours. Over the next four days—which included cloudy ones and extensive nighttime use of electric appliances—Yeaman’s home generated all but 15 kilowatt hours of the electricity it used.
For those who would like to view the performance of a solar array during the winter online, SUNY Sullivan now has its three kilowatt photovoltaic array linked to a website, lg514.d.lighthousesolar.com, where the public can monitor its output. The photovoltaic array is installed in the college’s sustainability cluster which includes a straw bale structure, community garden and geothermal pump house.
NY suit charges water contamination
due to drilling
HORSEHEADS, NY — Napoli Bern Ripka & Associates, LLP has filed a suit against the Anschutz Exploration Corporation and its subcontractors on behalf of nine families for the contamination of their drinking water due to natural gas exploration and drilling operations in Horseheads. The complaint alleges that the property values for homes owned by the nine families have been reduced and the families’ health has been jeopardized. The lawsuit was filed with the Supreme Court of the State of New York in Chemung County.
This is the first case brought in New York for groundwater contamination caused by natural gas drilling.
UDC seeks award nominations
NARROWSBURG, NY – The Upper Delaware Council, Inc. (UDC) is accepting public nominations until March 11 for its 23rd annual awards ceremony to be held on April 17 at Central House Family Resort in Beach Lake, PA.
Nine award categories are available, in addition to the Oaken Gavel Award traditionally given by the council to the past year’s chairperson. Nomination forms and a list of past award recipients are available at the UDC’s website at www.upperdelawarecouncil.org  or on request.
Categories are the Distinguished Service Award, the Robin M. Daniels Memorial Lifesaving Award, the Community Service Award, the Cultural Achivement Award, the Recreation Achievement Award, the Outstanding Community Achievement Award, the Partnership Award, the Volunteer Award and one or more Awards of Recognition.
Nominations will be evaluated by a UDC subcommittee. The list of this year’s honorees will be announced in late March.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org  or call 845/252-3022.
Tusten reconsiders seismic testing
NARROWSBURG, NY — In August 2008, the Tusten town board voted to put a moratorium on the practice of seismic testing related to gas drilling to give the board time to determine whether it could legally regulate the testing. That turned out to be a tough question to answer. Planning consultant Dr. Bill Pammer said that the town probably has the authority to prohibit it on private roads even if the property owner’s lots extend to the middle of the road. The lawyers working with the Multi-Municipal Gas Drilling Task Force, on the other hand, have said towns probably don’t have that authority.
The matter may become clearer later this year as the New York State Legislature works to adopt new language that will more clearly define the rights of towns, villages and other municipalities under the New York State Environmental Conservation Law, which covers gas drilling regulations in the state.
In the meantime, the Tusten board is once again considering a moratorium on seismic testing; a public hearing has been scheduled for February 28 at 6 p.m. at the town hall on Bridge Street.