FENTON -- Residents will have a chance to comment on the state's proposal to regulate natural gas production during a hearing Thursday at Chenango Valley High School.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is proposing new regulations to oversee development of the Marcellus Shale, which requires drilling horizontally through bedrock and breaking it apart with large quantities of water and chemical additives to release gas.

The Marcellus runs under the Southern Tier, the Catskills and throughout the Appalachian Basin.

In the Southern Tier, there is support and opposition to the proposed DEC regulations. Landowner coalitions with thousands of members in Broome County see drilling as a major economic opportunity. They have urged the state to finalize regulations so drilling can begin. Opponents say it brings too much risk to public health and the environment.

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