EPA holding upstate NY hearings on gas drilling

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (AP) - A pair of public hearings on a federal
government study of a controversial drilling technique are set for upstate New York.

The Environmental Protection Agency is holding four-hour hearings at The Forum in Binghamton beginning at noon Monday and again at 6 p.m. Another two sessions are scheduled for Wednesday at the same place.

The EPA is taking comment on how broadly to construct its study of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The drilling technique involves blasting chemical-laced water into the ground to release natural gas from rock formations thousands of feet underground.

Opponents say the millions of gallons of water mixed with chemicals and sand can poison drinking water.

Gas drillers are eyeing the lucrative Marcellus Shale region beneath Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Ohio and other shale reserves around the country.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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