City Pushes to Limit Gas Drilling Near Reservoirs

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Citing "significant concerns," New York City is seeking strict limits on all gas drilling that might affect reservoirs that supply the city's drinking water.

The city's Department of Environmental Protection hasn't said much publicly. But in a July 18 letter to the Department of Environmental Conservation in Albany, DEP Chief Emily Lloyd asks the state to prohibit all drilling quote "within a one mile buffer to all NYC water supply infrastructure including reservoirs, tunnels, shafts and other appurtenances."

She also asks the state for a written commitment to consult the city when energy companies apply to drill near reservoirs holding city drinking water.

A DEP spokesman confirms the agency is still pursuing those measures.

DEP's move comes as the state plans a wide-ranging environmental review of gas drilling. Tens of thousands of acres of have already been leased for gas drilling in the Catskills and the Southern Tier. The state's DEC says it hasn't yet received any applications to drill within the New York City watershed.

This story was reported with Pro-Publica a non-profit investigative news organization.

Additional coverage: City's Drinking Water Feared Endangered; $10B Cost Seen (ProPublica/New York Sun)

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