EPA postpones NY state hearing on natural gas drilling study amid crowd concerns

Concerns about crowds and security have forced the Environmental Protection Agency to postpone a public hearing in New York on natural gas drilling two days before the event.

Tuesday's decision comes less than 24 hours after the agency announced it was moving Thursday's hearing from Binghamton University 65 miles north to a Syracuse convention center.

The EPA says the university anticipated as many as 8,000 people and rallies by bused-in drilling opponents. It says the school wanted to charge the agency more than six times as much as originally agreed.

Syracuse officials told the EPA on Tuesday there wasn't enough time to prepare for such an event there. A new date and location haven't been set.

The hearing is the fourth and last by the EPA around the country as it studies a controversial drilling process called hydraulic fracturing.