The natural gas industry and business groups are pushing back against a bill proposed Tuesday that would create a company-funded reserve to cover damages from any future gas drilling accidents.

The bill, proposed by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, would allow the state to create the fund by tacking on a surcharge to permit fees for natural gas companies.

The fund would cover the cost of any cleanup from accidents during drilling if the cause of the contamination couldn't be immediately identified, or if the responsible party refused to pay.

The state Attorney General's Office would later determine responsibility and sue for damages, with any money recovered going back into the cleanup fund.

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