New York state's environmental regulations on gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale task local municipalities with important responsibilities on the front end and the back end.

Last week, it was reported that local health departments would be responsible for monitoring private wells before, during, and after gas drilling.

The overseers of wastewater treatment plants will also bear a large "responsibility and burden" if they choose to accept waste from hydraulic fracturing, according to Jimmie Joe Carl, an engineer with Penfield-based MRB Group.

Carl said his initial look at the supplemental generic environmental impact statement released by the state Department of Environmental Conservation found little clear direction from the state on how to protect publicly owned treatment plants or the public water bodies into which they discharge if a plant chooses to accept the wastewater.

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