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Gas drilling law could endanger NY drinking water, say NRDC experts
|Half of New York’s drinking water could be contaminated by toxic pollution, unless the state adopts comprehensive safeguards for natural gas drilling before any drills break ground, according to experts at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).|
This critical threat comes as NY Governor Paterson signed a law (S.8169/A.10526) that makes it easier for gas companies to conduct horizontal drilling, also known as hydraulic fracturing, a relatively recent technology that allows companies to extract natural gas from traditionally difficult-to-access reserves, such as the Marcellus Shale formation that underlies the Catskill Mountains and the Southern Tier of New York State.
The law has the potential to create a massive land rush to conduct a dangerous and inadequately reviewed activity in ecologically critical portions of the state. With this method of drilling comes the risk of toxic chemicals entering the drinking water supply of 9 million New Yorkers, as well as residents of Philadelphia and other major population centers.
Horizontal drilling also has the potential to create hazardous waste discharges, increase air pollution from drilling and drilling-related diesel trucking, and disrupt ecologically sensitive areas (including the Catskill Park). The last Generic Environmental Impact Statement that analyzed gas drilling in New York was prepared in 1992, 16 years ago, before the current technology for horizontal gas drilling even existed.
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posted by CITIZEN POWER ALLIANCE at 7:23 AM - permanent link
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