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Report: NY regulations for drilling waste too lax

Associated Press Published: May 4, 2012

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — An environmental group says New York's oversight of disposal of waste from existing natural gas-drilling operations is too lax, making it impossible to track how much waste is produced and how drillers dispose of it.

The report by Environmental Advocates of New York finds industry reporting forms provide little detail on where drilling wastewater is sent and whether it actually got to the intended disposal site.

Conventional gas wells are drilled in New York, but since 2008 the state has had a moratorium on drilling shale gas wells using high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The state disputes the report, saying its permitting rules track all waste transport and disposal methods.

New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia sit atop the vast Marcellus Shale formation, a potential underground natural gas bonanza estimated to contain 84 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas.