NY Congressman: EPA Oversight Needed For NYS Drinking Water

Upstate Congressman Maurice Hinchey plans to introduce a bill to place stricter controls on natural gas drilling, which he says could endanger New York City's drinking water. WNYC's Ilya Marritz has more.

REPORTER: Hinchey proposes to change just a few sentences in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. That law, signed by President Bush, removed EPA oversight of the chemicals companies sometimes use in natural gas drilling.

HINCHEY: It was taken away because some of these drilling operations wanted to put down whatever chemicals they wanted to. So that needs to be put back into place.

REPORTER: In New York State, there's tremendous interest in drilling near drinking water reservoirs in the Catskill Mountains. But there's effectively a moratorium while state regulators conduct an environmental review. Energy companies say drilling chemicals are proprietary information, but that they pose no threat to public health. For WNYC, I'm Ilya Marritz.