9:53am

Wed September 14, 2011
Marcellus Shale

DEC: Water supplies will be tested before fracking begins

A new panel made up of natural gas drillers, environmentalists, and local government officials re-convened yesterday in Albany to advise New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation about hydrofracking.

This was the second meeting of the 17 member advisory panel. They’re charged with making recommendations to the state about how to best handle hydrofracking, and all the issues that come with it - including the potential impact of hydrofracking on drinking water supplies.

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said that officials with the Department of Health were at this latest meeting and told the panel why it’s important to collect data and establish a baseline of information before drilling begins.

“We are going to have an active process where we do evaluations before drilling occurs, not on public health per se, but on the quality of drinking water,” says Martens.

Martens said that both private and public drinking water supplies near potential well sites will be tested before drilling permits are issued, which is expected to happen sometime next year.

The DEC recently released the final draft of its hydrofracking regulations, which they will accept public comments on until December 12th.