How could natural gas drilling in New York State threaten drinking water for Philadelphia residents?



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    The Delaware River Basin Commission, made up of the governors of  Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware and a federal representative, is an interstate agency that governs water quality and quantity in the Marcellus Shale basin, a 600-mile watershed extending from New York to Virginia. Marcellus Shale supplies 15 million people in the northeast with drinking water and holds at least 50 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The DRBC is concerned with three aspects of water in relation to drilling:

    1. Drilling in the basin could significantly reduce the flow of water in streams and aquifiers due to the exhaustive amount of freshwater needed to perform the mining
    2. Some of the water used in the drilling process can be recovered (called “frac” water), but is contaminated with natural gas and other chemicals and needs to be treated and properly disposed of
    3. Drilling could pollute both ground and surface water, threatening area drinking water sources
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