EPA delays Syracuse drilling hearing amid crowd concerns

By By the Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Concerns about crowds and security have forced the Environmental Protection Agency to postpone a public hearing on natural gas drilling two days before the event.

Tuesday's decision comes less than 24 hours after the agency announced it was moving Thursday's hearing from Binghamton University 65 miles north to a Syracuse convention center. The EPA says the university, anticipating as many as 8,000 people and rallies by bused-in drilling opponents, wanted to charge the agency more than six times as much as originally agreed.

On Tuesday, Syracuse officials told the EPA there wasn't enough time to prepare for such an event there. A new date and location hasn't been set.

The hearing is the fourth and last by the EPA around the country as it studies hydraulic fracturing of natural gas wells.

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

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