The permitting of gas wells is restricted in, and around, the watersheds providing water to major municipalities. NYC has a powerful advocate group to defend their water supplies, and works in lock step with the NYS DEC. Here is an article from NYS DEC website, which speaks to this point: http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/46795.html
The NYS DEC site provides many of the answers you are looking for, but not wanting to hear... If you are looking to develop your minerals in these "buffer zones" it may be an uphill battle.