Appalachian Basin

Looking Forward to a Future Built on Natural Gas

Hazel Brandt
Windsor, New York, Landowner

I have been a resident of the Windsor, New York, area for 47 years now.  I was the first woman police officer in Broome County in 1975. I was the town tax collector for 16 years. I drove a school bus for 27 years and now am a senior citizen who is still active in community affairs.  I am also an advocate of natural gas development for our area and attended the New York Department of Environmental Conservation’s Binghamton hearing on the revised draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement.  Though retired, I look forward to a future for this area – one built upon natural gas development!

My husband and I were from Orange County, New York, about 65 miles north of New York City.  My husband was a Lead Engineer for Operating Engineers Local 825 out of Newark, New Jersey.  We moved to Deposit in 1960 for Bob to work on the Cannonsville Dam and Reservoir.

Before that started, one morning at 3 a.m. we went up to where Cannonsville used to be. Cemeteries had been moved.  All the homes, farms, churches and stores were smashed.  All of the buildings were burned. A whole town disappeared to build a reservoir to supply New York City residents with water. It was very sad to see and we cried as we witnessed it.

The people of Cannonsville gave up homes, land, and jobs so that New York City could have water. My husband and I lived in a trailer with 4 children.  In 1965 we found a farm to buy, using his GI Bill from his overseas service in WWII and Korea.

For 47 years we have paid taxes on our land and home. We have followed the rules to do right. But, as I look around, it seems all the rules have changed to again favor the rights of New York City residents over ours. We should be in charge of our land. Other people should not be able to tell us what we can do with our land, especially when the natural gas that will be produced from what we want to do will mostly be consumed by them.  This is a case where we can both benefit but they their still against it and we are on the losing end, again!

We went to gas meetings and want it to be done safely. Since 2008, enough should have been learned to let drilling start. My husband worked underground in all the shafts to New York City for water lines and we know what technology can accomplish.

My husband passed away in January. He turned 84 on January and died on January 9, 2011. His hope was that gas production would start and be done safely.

I wish he was here with me today to say…lets get this done New York!

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