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Comptroller wants fee to build drilling accident fund

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New York Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is thinking ahead to the possibility of new hydrofracking operations in the state this year. In a letter to the Department of Environmental Conservation, DiNapoli renewed his call for a drilling fee to pay for any accidents caused by natural gas drilling.
The Innovation Trail's Matt Richmond reports.

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The drilling fee would go into a Natural Gas Damage Recovery Fund. DiNapoli says having the fund in place before drilling begins would allow a quick response to an accident.

“So that where you would have an accident or some kind of incident, especially where you have a situation where there’s not a clear responsible party, the Department of Environmental Conservation can move quickly.”

DiNapoli says the fund would work the same way as the state’s oil spill recovery fund. Accidents would be followed by investigations and the state would seek reimbursement from the company that’s at fault.

“It really seems to make sense that we provide this level of protection because no matter how strong regulations are or how mindful industry is, accidents do happen.”

DiNapoli also submitted legislation to the state assembly that would establish the cleanup fund.

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