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Is Drilling Safe? New Evidence Suggests No


Ithaca (WENY) - An environmental watchdog firm out of Ithaca claims DEC documents prove the department knew about hundreds of gas, oil and brine spills in New York causing harm to neighbors. Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting wants the DEC to scrap its most recent environmental study, claiming the evidence shows, the state can't effectively regulate. Hang's firm got the documents through the freedom of information act. The information shows over 200 natural gas and oil problems in towns across New York including five here in the Southern Tier. Hang is asking Governor Cumo to retract the environmental impact study, in which the DEC claims drilling can be done safely.

Recent spill reports include a 200 gallon brine spill in Horseheads on June 23rd this summer. Equipment failure caused almost 700 gallons of brine to spill on Briggs hill Rd. in Van Etten this May.

DEC says neither has met clean up standards.

"Routinely DEC does not enforce cleanup standards they have had hundreds of fires and explosions, uncontrolled releases and the bottom line is they cant do it safely they know they cant do it safely," says Hang, "They know they cant do it safely because they cant even control the problems that they've encountered up until now."

A DEC spokeswoman says in none of these cases were drinking water supplies contaminated. Three cases were closed because clean up was completed and no further action was necessary. Work continues on two other cases.

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