Streams

City Study Says Drilling Near Reservoirs is Risky

Monday, October 05, 2009

The Paterson Administration is preparing to green-light natural gas drilling near the city's reservoirs upstate. But a report commissioned by the city says drilling could contaminate the public water supply. WNYCs Ilya Marritz has more.

REPORTER: Erosion, runoff, and toxic chemicals are just three of the dangers highlighted in a PowerPoint prepared for the city by environmental consultants Hazen and Sawyer.

Researchers found the presence of a wellbore can "allow previously isolated contaminants to flow into shallow groundwater or surface water".

Under the state's plan, drilling could be allowed within a few hundred feet of reservoirs, with some safety measures in place.

Mayor Bloomberg hasn't yet taken a position on Albany's plan, but has said he'll do everything in his power to keep reservoirs safe.

Researchers working for the city are now examining "what if" scenarios. For WNYC, I'm Ilya Marritz.

Environmental consultants Hazen and Sawyer have been studying the potential dangers of allowing drilling in the watershed of the City’s drinking water supply.

Read the Department of Environmental Protection’s report based on their research.

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