Aquifers – “Primary” aquifers, which serve large population centers (ie. voters) are protected somewhat by a drilling pad setback of 500 feet. Section 560.4 (A) (3) These are the designated primary aquifers :
On the other hand, designated “Principal” aquifers, which serve most of Upstate, have no protections in the proposed regulations, there is no setback for a gas well, gas wells can be drilled directly into the aquifer. Aquifers are also used to dispose of hazardous wastes.
So whenever there is a spill, the aquifer is subject to pollution, when the well vents gas, it will contaminate the aquifer. These are the Principal (and Primary) aquifers in New York:
Other water bodies are similarly unprotected by the regulations – there are no setbacks proposed from streams, rivers, or wetlands. A river might be protected by the setback for a 100 year flood plain – unless the river bank is steep, in which case wells could be drilled directly adjacent to the river bank, as shown below, and the lateral extended under the river – as per the proposed regs.