Last week, State Sen. Tom Duane and James Gennaro, chair of the City Council's Environmental Protection Committee, requested a New York City hearing on the impending drilling of the Marcellus Shale. The Marcellus Shale rock formation in upstate New York is a potential source of natural gas, which would only be accessible through a new method called "Hydraulic Fracturing." However, the method requires toxic compounds, which could possibly seep into New York City's watershed, according to Duane and Gennaro. While hearings will take place in areas near the Marcellus Shale, none are currently scheduled for New York City. "The fact is that nobody knows the environmental impact that this controversial drilling will bring to the Marcellus region," Duane said in a letter to the State Department of Environmental Conservation. "We want to ensure that DEC thoroughly considers any and all threats to our precious natural resources and allow New York City residents, advocates and elected officials to testify at a scoping hearing. Anything less is unacceptable." According to Duane's deputy chief of staff Colin Casey, if contamination occurred, as it has in New Mexico and Wyoming, the city would need to build an expensive water filtration plant.