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Hearings set on proposed rules for gas drillers

ALBANY — New York environmental regulators have formally issued proposed regulations for hydraulic fracturing of natural gas wells in the lucrative Marcellus Shale region of southern New York and scheduled four public hearings.

The document originally posted online in July outlines rules for permitting gas-drilling companies to pump water, chemicals and sand into deep wells at high pressure to release natural gas from shale.

The state hasn’t allowed “hydrofracking” in the Marcellus Shale since it began drafting new permitting rules three years ago.

The Department of Environmental Conservation has already issued a draft environmental analysis and will accept public comments on both documents until Dec. 12.

Hearings are scheduled Nov. 16 in Dansville, Nov. 17 in Binghamton, Nov. 29 in Sheldrake and Nov. 30 in Manhattan.