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Hearings begin - back and forth of fracking continues

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New York begins public hearings on proposed regulations for hydro-fracking today. The state Department of Environmental Conservation convenes the first of the hearings in the Finger Lakes village of Dansville this afternoon at 1:00 pm. People hoping for three minutes to comment are expected to begin lining up hours before that.

The state has put off permits for drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation since 2008, when it began a review of the high-volume hydraulic fracturing process used to blast wells into production.

Environmental groups who fear the drilling will contaminate water supplies call the rules too lax.
The gas industry says the rules will be so restrictive that companies will avoid New York. As the DEC begins its hearings, an industry group has been holding public meetings of its own.

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Geneva New York was the latest stop in a series of meetings hosted by New York's Independent Oil and Gas Association, or IOGA.

About 50 people turned out to a local school Tuesday night where representatives from the drilling industry took questions about hydrofracking.

People were most concerned about the chemicals used in process and their potential to pollute water supplies, which the drilling representatives answered by saying that the quantities are too small to impact public health.
Cherie Messore is IOGA's director of public relations.

Messore: "There is a great deal of misinformation in our society about this process called hydraulic fracturing."
IOGA's final community meeting will be in Corning on December 6th.

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