Stakeholders to speak at NY gas drilling hearing

ALBANY, N.Y. — Strict new gas-drilling regulations are still not sufficient to protect New York City's water supply from the risk of contamination, according to politicians and environmental advocates seeking a ban on drilling in the city's upstate watershed.

Drilling opponents, energy companies, gas leaseholders and others with an interest in natural gas drilling in southern New York will get to state their positions Wednesday evening in the first of four public hearings on new regulations proposed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The agency released the proposed regulations on Sept. 30 and set a 60-day public comment period.

The new rules were drafted as a supplement to existing state regulations on oil and gas exploration, in response to concerns about gas extraction from deep shale formations using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. In that process, millions of gallons of water combined with chemicals are injected after a well is drilled, fracturing the shale to release the gas.

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