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NYC Says Upstate Drilling Risks Water

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The Bloomberg Administration is criticizing Albany's plans to oversee natural gas drilling near reservoirs.  

The administration says natural gas drilling should be banned in the Catskills watershed because it would pose too great a risk to New York City's upstate drinking water system.

State regulators say the drilling can be done safely. But city officials say the state used faulty modeling to make projections about the possible effects of water contamination.  Albany regulators want to finalize their plan early next year.

The Associated Press reports the city's Department of Environmental Protection released a statement on Wednesday in response to the state Department of Environmental Conservation's draft regulations on gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale region of southern New York, which includes parts of the Catskills.

The state is taking public comments on the 800-plus page draft until Dec. 31. The city DEP had withheld comment pending its own review of the potential risks of gas exploration using hydraulic fracturing, which blasts millions of gallons of chemical-laced water deep into the shale to release trapped gas.