Opponents of natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale in southern New York promise to be out in force as the state begins public hearings on its rules governing the practice known as "fracking."
A rally is planned for noon Wednesday outside Dansville Middle School in the Finger Lakes, where the state Department of Environmental Conservation will hold the first of four public hearings beginning at 1:00 p.m.
The hearings move to Binghamton on Thursday and to Loch Sheldrake and New York City at the end of the month.
The industry says New York's draft regulations for high-volume hydraulic fracturing are so restrictive that drillers would avoid the state. But environmental groups who fear the drilling will contaminate water supplies call the rules too lax.