At the sign-in table, the folks asked to see and SCAN my photo I.D. They respectfully asked for permission to do the latter, which I approved. I also witnessed them turning away an elderly woman who left her I.D. in the car. Hey...these are the new rules - so be it. I just hope the information gathered is not shared.
The SRBC's folks sat two rows away from the podium behind a strap barrier similar to those in a bank's teller line. There were several cameras trained at the audience, and there was a stenographer present.
The SRBC also hired someone to conduct the hearing, and overall I thought he did an excellent job. My only complaint was that, as being the first speaker and wanting to comply with the rules, I composed and limited my oral testimony to ~2:59...hitting the 3:00 mark just as I closed. Several others, including folks from the NG industry, went over the 3 minute limit by ~30 seconds or so. In my opinion, that was not fair.
Lesson learned for next time.
My unofficial but nonetheless fairly accurate tally showed 25 people speaking out against the SRBC's withdrawal projects on the agenda and/or their general practices, and 5 in favor and/or supportive of their efforts, including Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko, EID-NMI's Tom Shepstone, a representative from Andarko, a rep from a trucking company, a farm radio station owner, and another person I failed to document.
There were multiple environmental groups represented, a minister or two, some former state/federal employees, and even a fairly feisty octogenarian who later said she was a member of the "Occupy" movement. Truly a force to be reckoned with...
In the end, I took a vacation day to attend this hearing, got a $25.00 parking ticket ( check's in the mail ), and overall brought to (almost) closure my involvement in this matter. An employee from the SRBC approached me after the meeting and asked if anyone had ever explained the SRBC's role as it relates to water quality. I left the door open for further discussion.
More in a few days.