DEC reassures public on concerns over potential drilling
There was a larger crowd than usual at a DEC public meeting in Springwater last night, with standing room only as the draft forest management plan for the Hemlock and Canadice lakes was presented.
The draft has spurred controversy over the past few weeks because it includes language about possible permits for hydraulic fracturing and drilling on the state forest land.
Regional director of the DEC, Paul D'Amato says the state has no intention of allowing drilling, but anti-fracking groups remain wary.
"We've indicated that we have no intention of allowing drilling on this forest as part of this UMP. But the plan did not have an absolute prohibition in it, so people have remained concerned," D'Amato said.
Hemlock and Canadice are the only two undeveloped finger lakes in the region, and the source of Rochester's drinking water.
D'Amato says that an absolute ban on drilling could be included in the final management plan if it was deemed necessary.
The public comment period on the plan is open until April 16.