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Source: WSYR Syracuse

Skaneateles Lake hydrofracking regulations

Posted: April 26, 2010
Originally Published: April 23, 2010

Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - The Department of Environmental Conservation announced on Friday new regulations that will make the Skaneateles Lake watershed nearly off limits for hydrofracking, because it is a source of drinking water for people in the area.

Syracuse and New York City use unfiltered drinking water from surface water sources. These watersheds are subject to regulations that exclude them from the DEC's review of locations for environmental safety of the high-volume hydraulic fracturing process, more commonly known as hydrofracking.

Ever since the state started considering this method of drilling, environmentalists have said hydrofracking would contaminate the water supply. So now the DEC says if any gas drilling companies want to drill in this highly sensitive area, it will need to meet special requirements to make sure there won't be any negative effects.

"We think it's a great step in the right direction that the DEC is sensitive to the drinking issue of people served by unfiltered drink sources, but every community matters," said Dereth Glance, representative of Citizen's Campaign for the Environment.

Currently, the federal government is conducting a study of its own on whether or not hydrofracking has any affect on drinking water. In the meantime, legislation is pending in Albany that would put a moratorium on hyrdofracking until the results of that federal study are available, which won't be until 2012.

According to the DEC, there are 58 pending applications for hydrofracking in the Marcellus shale. None of the potential locations are in either New York City or the Skaneateles Lake watersheds.