Drilling regs hearing will reveal issues

ALBANY — How can the state use just one well to set regulations for the impact of gas drilling on water, roads and air when dozens, even hundreds, may be built in places such as Sullivan County? Shouldn't the gas companies address the cumulative impacts of all those wells?

That's just one issue that environmental groups plan to raise Thursday at the state Assembly hearing on the Department of Environmental Conservation's proposed regulations for gas drilling of the Marcellus shale, which sits beneath Sullivan and other counties.

The hearing, held by the Assembly's Environmental Conservation Committee, should provide a preview of issues that will be raised at other hearings in coming months before the state finalizes those rules.

Aileen Gunther, D-C-Forestburgh, and Annie Rabbitt, R-Greenwood Lake, are on the committee.

"The whole cumulative impact is a glaring problem," says Wes Gillingham, program director of Sullivan County's Catskill Mountainkeeper. "Each company knows how much land they've leased. One well leads to another and another. And how will the state control the impact of all that waste?"

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