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Mary Esch

NY records show history of oil, gas well problems

ALBANY, N.Y. — State regulators claim a strong record of oil and gas drilling oversight, but their own reports reveal thousands of unplugged abandoned wells and other industrial problems that could pose a threat to groundwater, wetlands, air quality and public safety.

Annual reports and incident reports prepared by Department of Environmental Conservation staff and reviewed by The Associated Press run counter to the agency's long-stated assertion that the types of problems reported in other states have been prevented in New York by strong regulations.

Fracking opponents put pressure on NY governor

Walter Hang, who owns a consulting business that tracks toxic sites for property investors and other clients, said he believes Cuomo "listens a great deal to his biggest campaign contributors, many of whom are intensely involved in governmental affairs."

"If he hears from these contributors," Hang said, "it may be a more powerful message than when he hears from ordinary citizens."

Idea of limited NY fracking divides energy camps

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Landowners along New York's southern border who support natural gas drilling are cheered by reports that the Cuomo administration is considering allowing hydraulic fracturing on a limited basis in towns that want it, though opponents call the idea "shameful."

EPA told gas drilling does, does not taint water

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Rep. Maurice Hinchey told a federal hearing Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency must regulate hydraulic fracturing, the natural gas extraction process that he said has contaminated water near drilling sites around the country.

New York City says Catskill gas drilling risks are too great

ALBANY -- New York City's Department of Environmental Protection called on state officials Wednesday to ban natural gas drilling in the Catskills watershed, saying it would pose too great a risk to the city's upstate drinking water system.

The DEP took that position in response to the state Department of Environmental Conservation's draft regulations on gas drilling in New York's portion of the Marcellus Shale region, which includes parts of the Catskills where reservoirs supply drinking water for 9 million people.

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