Friday, March 4, 2011

How Communities Like Cooperstown Adapt to Change

Cooperstown is a tourism center. According to the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce in their draft statement against hydraulic fracturing of shale in Otsego County:
(Hydraulic fracturing)“It puts at risk much of the local economy, ranging from hotel and tourism to restaurant and retail businesses, most of which are driven by the hundreds of thousands of tourists who choose to visit the region every year."
The problem in this statement is that these hundreds of thousands of tourists drive cars, and to support the influx of tourists, the town also attracts an infrastructure that uses diesel trucks and the like; the result is a huge increase in emissions. This increase has an impact on the surface water quality of Lake Otsego and on the health of residents in the air shed. The air shed includes all of the county. 
As a ProActive community that has the capability and knowledge on how to balance human life quality and environmental quality, the town has sought to find ways to minimize the impact of the related emissions. They did not say NO to tourism, they got together and are working on ways to find a common ground where the increased traffic impact can be managed. This according to a Cooperstown Crier article, the town is discussing ways to limit engine idling.  
Engine idling emissions is a subject that the EPA has addressed and it is an issue that has raised concern especially since idling engines can cause an increase the air pollution load.
Does anyone know if a road use impact study had been done to monitor what impact the increased traffic does to the county roads?

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