The U.S. Geological Survey recently issued a new study finding high background levels of methane in New York.  "A new USGS study found that 15 percent of groundwater samples from 66 household wells across south-central New York contained methane at levels high enough to warrant monitoring or mitigation. Methane was more common and had higher concentrations in wells located in valleys rather than wells located in uplands. Valley wells that tap confined bedrock were the most likely to contain high levels of methane. *** The wells were tested in June and July of 2012 to provide baseline data on methane concentrations in groundwater.The study area includes about 2000 square miles and is considered favorable for Marcellus Shale gas resources.None of the water wells tested was located within a mile of existing natural gas wells."