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State Official Says Gas Drilling Unlikely to Contaminate Drinking Water

Monday, February 01, 2010

New York State's top official for the environment says allowing gas drilling near upstate reservoirs is unlikely to contaminate drinking water. WNYC's Ilya Marritz has more.

REPORTER: A serious spill is the nightmare of the Bloomberg administration. But Pete Grannis, the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation, says that's not likely.

GRANNIS: In terms of quantity, a spill at an individual well site with barrels of pollutants spilled or a holding tank bursting would be relatively insignificant and it wouldn't jeopardize the city water supply.

REPORTER: That statement appears to put Grannis at odds with Mayor Bloomberg and with the EPA, which both favor stronger protections for water. Grannis says he's reviewing all comments on the issue as his agency prepares to set new gas drilling guidelines.

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