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Gas-drilling oversight reconsidered; burden may not fall to county
|Who's going to pay to ensure local water wells are not polluted by Marcellus Shale drilling?|
State officials said this week they are still trying to figure that out, but Broome County may be off the hook. The state's proposal that would require local health departments to oversee gas drilling is being reconsidered in light of an order by Gov. David Patterson.
That order, signed in April, prohibits state mandates on municipalities without assessing their full economic impact, including costs and benefits.
Claudia Hutton, head of public affairs for the state Department of Health, said the governor's policy has led to rethinking a regulatory proposal by the DEC that would leave oversight of water quality testing in drilling zones to local health departments.
"We're very mindful of the governor's concerns about the impact of costs to local governments," she said. "We haven't made a decision about how we're going to handle this."
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