Regulators Greenlight Measure to Ban Fracking in Delaware River Basin

Credit Trout Unlimited

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), a federal interstate government agency responsible for managing the water resources within the 13,539 square-mile Delaware River Basin, announced yesterday that it intends to consider a resolution seeking a permanent ban on fracking anywhere within the Delaware River watershed.

"Your attempt with the adopted fracking resolution to cut the baby in half like Solomon did is well established to end in disaster".

The basin supplies drinking water to 15 million people. 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.

Voices from the industry side of the aisle, also concerned with what could happen to a technique that spurred a US production boom in shale gas and oil.

Environmentalists and people who live in the Delaware River water basin carried a tune inside a Bucks County Community College campus building.

Late last week, the Associated Press reported an anonymous source stating that the regulations would be a ban on hydraulic fracturing - commonly referred to as fracking - which has precipitated a natural gas boom in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region.

Govs. John Carney of DE and Andrew Cuomo of NY issued similar statements of support.

In moving to start crafting the ban commission members accepted a resolution that said fracking "presents risks, vulnerabilities and impacts to surface and ground water resources across the country".

Steven Tambini, the commission's executive director, urged critics to withhold judgment until they see the regulations. But the commission's executive director warned invested parties of jumping to conclusions on what the resolution may entail, emphasizing it will be made public by November 30 with public input and a possible rewrite to follow.

"You don't know what the rules are going to say yet, so take it easy", he said.

Tambini says the final rules would not be voted on until well into next year.

"There is a lot of fracking that happens in Pennsylvania".

A Cabot Oil and Gas natural gas drill is viewed at a hydraulic fracturing site on January 17, 2012 in Springville, Pennsylvania.

"Given the comprehensive regulatory scheme already in place in Pennsylvania, and the scientific analysis borne of over a decade of natural gas development within the commonwealth, it defies both common sense and logic for the DRBC to conclude that natural gas development can not be done safely within its watershed when Pennsylvania has a proven track record of doing exactly that", wrote MSC President David Spigelmyer and PCBI CEO Gene Barr.

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