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Feds splash water on state drilling plan; Fears that toxic chemicals could seep into drinking water


The feds are backing City Hall's battle to stop the state from drilling for natural gas near precious upstate water reserves.

The city Department of Environmental Protection fears the drilling in the energy-rich Marcellus Shale Formation could unleash toxic chemicals in the drinking water.

The Environmental Protection Agency's ruling pressures Gov. Paterson to reverse course.

"EPA has serious reservations about whether gas drilling in the New York City watershed is consistent with the vision of long-term maintenance of a high quality unfiltered water supply," the agency wrote the state.

Acting city DEP Commissioner Steven Lawitts warned a $10 billion water filtration system would be needed to combat any contamination from drilling - a project that would sock taxpayers with a 30% increase in their water bill.

City Hall spokesman Marc La Vorgna praised the feds' response, arguing Paterson's plans don't "adequately address the risks to the city's drinking water."