Ilya Marritz covers business for WNYC.
Bloomberg Wary of Natural Gas Drilling Near Water Supply
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
New York, NY –
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is voicing concerns about possible natural gas drilling near upstate water reservoirs.
The mayor says any deal to allow drilling must also protect city drinking water.
BLOOMBERG: Look, I think we need energy, there's no question about that. You can drill in a responsible way. Our great concern would be when you're drilling so close to the water supply, the watershed, for this city.
REPORTER: New York City is asking the state for a formal role in permitting gas wells in the watershed. The city also wants a mandatory one-mile buffer around reservoirs and related infrastructure.
There are no applications yet to drill in the New York City watershed, but energy companies have leased tens of thousands of acres of privately-owned land in the Catskills.
In September, the state will begin a public review process of the likely environmental impacts gas drilling would have in the Catskills and Southern Tier.