(Buffalo, NY) - Today, New York State Senator Antoine Thompson (D-parts of Erie and Niagara Counties), Chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee was in Towanda and Dimock, Pennsylvania on a fact finding mission regarding hydro fracturing of the Marcellus Shale formation to collect natural gas. Senator Thompson first met with officials from Chesapeake Energy, a company with plans to drill in New York State. He then traveled to Dimock, PA where he met with citizens who were subjects of a NY Times article last week after experiencing drinking water pollution problems and other issues that they believe are related to well drilling in their community by the Cabot Oil and Gas Company, a competitor of Chesapeake.

“As Chair of the New York State Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, I am committed to providing New Yorkers with the most efficient energy options available without compromising environmental integrity,” Senator Thompson said. “I am fully committed to doing a comprehensive and thoughtful review of the benefits and potential environmental impacts of hydro fracturing of Marcellus Shale in New York State.”

Marcellus Shale is a black, low density, organic rich shale that was formed by the sedimentation of marine, mud and clay deposits from ancient river deltas across the Appalachian Basin approximately 350 to 415 million years ago. It exists up to 9,000 feet below ground mainly beneath New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

In order to allow the gas to escape through the pore space, drillers create artificial fractures in the shale, predominately using a method called hydro fracturing by injecting a mixture of water, sand and gel at extremely high pressure to crack and prop open the shale.

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