A federal hearing into the safety of developing the Marcellus Shale natural gas has been receiving conflicting information about the safety of the burgeoning sector. Some green groups called for the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the hydraulic fracturing process used to tap shale-gas deposits; business leaders said the process was safe. "Billions of dollars in economic impact on New York and its citizens is at stake here," said Brad Gill of the Independent Oil and Gas Association, noting that thousands of wells had been drilled in New York without a water-contamination incident.

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