With each hydraulic fracturing operation requiring millions of gallons of water, the natural gas industry will likely look to New York's waterways as a primary source if the state puts its portion of the Marcellus Shale in play.

A bill meant to make sure that water is accounted for is navigating the halls of the Capitol and appears headed to a full vote.

Assemblyman Robert Sweeney, a Long Island Democrat who heads the Assembly's Environmental Conservation Committee, said his house will likely vote on the bill in the beginning of May as part of a package of legislation marking Earth Day. The legislation would allow the Department of Environmental Conservation to create a permitting process for withdrawals of at least 100,000 gallons per day, based on a 30-day average.

The DEC, which proposed the bill, would also be required to establish standards for the hardware necessary for withdrawing water, and keep a log of reporting and recordkeeping.

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