1.) Are there environmental concerns with drilling?
Yes, there are some concerns with drilling and hydraulic fracturing – AKA – fracking. There are three main concerns including water contamination, air pollution, and land damage. To improve performance, the water is usually mixed with lubricating chemicals. Some landowners have complained that their water, next to drilling wells, has been contaminated by methane. There is also a concern of land being damaged from heavy machinery traveling on the land and air pollution from the drilling rigs and fracking engines.
2.) If I sign a lease and a gas company drills a well, how extensive will the environmental impact be on my land?
The impact on your land is based on many different factors. It generally depends on how much land you own and how many wells are on your property. Keep in mind there will need to be substantial gravel access roads to the drill site and metering stations and compressor buildings are also often installed.
A gas company may draw from available water supplies, such as streams, ponds and water wells. There is also a need for small pipelines to transport the gas from the well to a main transport line.
Before signing a lease, you should take into consideration how much damage you want to occur on your land. It is important to consult with an attorney before signing a lease where drilling will begin.
3.) I am going to sign a lease, or drilling is going to take place near me, how do I protect my water supply?
You can negotiate with the gas company that they take a pre-drilling water sample and post water sample to show if there is any change in quality. Some landowners feel it is best to pay for an independent water test on their own before and after drilling takes place. There are products available for you to test your own water. In the instance of legal action, only professionally taken samples will be viewed as credible.
4.) A gas company has done testing or drilling on or near my property and I have noticed a decline in my water quality. What should I do?
You should address the issue immediately. You should begin by calling your local Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) office. The office will investigate your concerns and take the appropriate steps.
5.) Should I let the gas company store gas on my property?
Although gas storage can increase wellhead revenue, it can also complicate the private gas lease. Many would consider it appropriate to develop a separate gas storage lease to add additional income. Gas storage leases are often arranged with a completely different company. Landowners should be alert to the ways in which gas storage will affect their lease payments. All changes in the lease payments should be clearly described in the lease.