Published: Thu, September 14, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Delaware River Basin Commission Step Closer to Banning NatGas Development, Fracking

Delaware River Basin Commission Step Closer to Banning NatGas Development, Fracking

Last week we heard good news from the Delaware River Basin Commission - the commission wanted to ban fracking in part of the basin.

They were hoping to sway the basin's commission and ultimately, the future of natural gas development in its jurisdiction, which includes parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and NY.

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The ban was supported by state representatives from New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.

Voices from the industry side of the aisle, also concerned with what could happen to a technique that spurred a USA production boom in shale gas and oil. A representative of Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie abstained and a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officer, representing the administration of GOP President Donald Trump, voted "no", drawing lusty boos from a strongly anti-fracking crowd attending the meeting outside Philadelphia. The commission members didn't tell us they also want to allow the dumping of toxic fracking waste into the DE watershed.

The resolution approved by the commission says fracking "presents risks, vulnerabilities and impacts to surface and ground water resources across the country", and directs the staff to draft regulations to ban it.

Environmental groups are upset by a provision that would apparently allow drillers to discharge fracking wastewater in the watershed "where permitted". It's a wolf in sheep's clothing.

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) today adopted a resolution directing the executive director to prepare and publish for public comment by November 30, 2017 a revised set of draft regulations to address natural gas development activities within the Delaware River Basin. Tambini anticipated a final vote could take place next year.

"We've seen plenty of comments what people think the rules are going to say, we don't know what the rules are going to say yet so let's take it easy there".

Wolf's office said the resolution calls for "promulgating regulations that would prohibit any water project in the Delaware River Basin proposed for developing oil and gas resources by high-volume hydraulic fracturing".

In 2011, the commission began drafting rules that would have allowed limited fracking in the region.

Business and industry groups blasted Wednesday's commission vote. The process is controversial with critics saying it could poison water supplies, while the natural-gas industry says it's been used safely for decades.

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