Staff Writer, MORNING TIMES
Published: Friday, March 26, 2010
TOWANDA — As other counties in Pennsylvania and New York try to prepare themselves for the natural gas boom, Bradford County’s position as one of the most drilled counties in the Marcellus Shale is attracting regional, national and even international attention its way.
At Thursday’s Bradford County Commissioners meeting, Steuben County, N.Y., resident John Benson spoke during the period devoted to remarks from visitors, and asked for the advice of the commissioners on helping his county prepare for the natural gas industry.
The commissioners explained to Benson that Bradford County will be hosting a day-long meeting of officials from the natural gas advisory boards of counties across New York and Pennsylvania next week in order to educate local leaders and share ideas.
“We’re hosting a meeting here in Bradford County for members of other county [task] forces in Pennsylvania and New York to try to share ideas and work with each other on developing our task forces and advisory committees and sharing ideas on what has progressed on each county and how each county has dealt with some of the growth that natural gas is bringing to the area,” explained Commissioner Mark Smith.Smith said that about 80 officials from multiple counties — including Tioga County, N.Y., Sullivan County and Lycoming County will attend.
“It’s going to be the first meeting of the kind in the state,” Smith said.
Smith said the idea came from Bradford County’s own Natural Gas Advisory Committee, which decided that Bradford County should host a forum for other county natural gas advisory committees to join together and discuss the natural gas industry.
According to Smith, the meeting will include presentations from three different county task forces, and round tables that will include three professors from Penn State.
“A lot of people from all over are coming, and I think it’s a great thing for Bradford County to be able to put this together,” Smith said.
Smith added that last week he met with international bank about natural gas play.
“I thought it was pretty interesting that a bank that’s based in Europe is interested in what’s going on in Bradford County,” he said. “The natural gas development in Bradford County has really put us on the map nationally, and even worldwide.”
The 26 natural gas wells drilled in Bradford County in February were more than were drilled in any other county, according to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Enviornmental Protection.