Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed Responds to DRBC’s Regs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | December 1, 2017
Contact: Rita Yelda, Rita.Yelda@njaudubon.org, 732-979-0655
The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) has released draft regulations on hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in the Delaware River Basin. In response, the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed, a network that unites 120 nongovernmental organizations working throughout the four states of the Watershed, has prepared the following statement:
“We are encouraged by the Delaware River Basin Commission’s decision to prohibit high volume hydraulic fracturing in the watershed, based on the best available science. We are concerned, however, about the implications of allowing other activities related to natural gas drilling in the river basin, which supplies drinking water to over 15 million people," says Maddy Urbish, Director of the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed. "We strongly encourage all stakeholders to engage in the public comment process and to continue to make their voices heard during the open comment period on the new draft regulations.”
The Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed is working with its members to share research, information, and other resources to build their capacity to engage in the public comment process. For more information on the Delaware River Basin Commission’s rulemaking on natural gas drilling and how to participate in the open comment period, visit http://nj.gov/drbc/meetings/proposed/notice_hydraulic-fracturing.html
The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) includes the four basin state governors (NJ, NY, DE, and PA) and the North Atlantic Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which serves as the federal representative. About one-third of the Delaware River Basin, in New York and Pennsylvania, lies above Marcellus Shale natural gas deposits. Hydraulic Fracturing (fracking) is a drilling technique that uses sand, water, and chemicals to release natural gas from shale rock deep within the ground.
Since 2011 there has been a de-facto moratorium imposed by the DRBC that prevents fracking in Pennsylvania’s Wayne and Pike counties; New York State banned fracking entirely in 2014.
The Delaware River Watershed is a vital region that provides drinking water to over 15 million people, supports $25 billion in annual economic activity, and sustains valuable habitats for unique species like the Atlantic sturgeon and horseshoe crab. In 1968 the Delaware River was declared a “Wild and Scenic River” by President Lyndon Johnson, which affords it special protection, and parts of the River are designation of “special protection waters.”
More information on the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed can be found at www.DelRiverWatershed.org.