When New York's guidelines for hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale are set in stone, officials say they will likely be stronger than those in Pennsylvania and other states that have long permitted the process.

But a major question remains: What will be done with the millions of gallons of chemical-laced wastewater and salty production brine that comes along with the process?

The wastewater, which flows back to the surface after being injected into shale formations to fracture the rock, can be cared for at treatment facilities, as long as those plants are properly equipped to remove the chemicals and the total dissolved solids in the fluid and radioactivity levels are within reason.

In New York, however, very few plants are equipped with that type of technology.

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