Dec. 1, 2017 (NEWTOWN, Pa.) –The Delaware River Basin Commission yesterday released draft regulations that protect this critical water source with a ban on fracking; however, provisions in the draft regulations allowing the treatment of frack wastewater and the transfer of Delaware River water continue to jeopardize the health of the river.
These provisions point to the need for stronger regulations to protect the health of not only the Delaware River, but the people who use it for drinking water.
The draft regulations released by the DRBC would prohibit the production of natural gas through high-volume, horizontal hydraulic fracturing methods, commonly known as fracking, within the Delaware River Basin. The DRBC has both the authority and the scientific and factual support to enact a formal ban on all fracking activities in the Delaware River Basin. The lack of industrial development in the Upper Delaware River has helped protect the water quality of the watershed, and the potential impacts to the watershed from fracking operations could undo decades’ worth of the hard work of the DRBC.
“After almost a decade of a ‘de facto’ moratorium, we commend the Commission for taking the next step to make that ban permanent, however, certain aspects of the draft regulations still leave the basin in jeopardy,” said PennFuture President and CEO Jacquelyn Bonomo. “PennFuture is dedicated to the protection of high quality headwater streams in the Delaware River watershed.”
“These draft regulations appear to be headed in the right direction, but they must go further. Allowing any of these activities in the Basin could jeopardize the almost billion dollar river recreational economy and the drinking water supply of over 15 million people,” said PennFuture Staff Attorney Abigail Jones. “PennFuture will continue to fight for the protection of the Delaware River Basin in the coming weeks and months by organizing citizens to speak at upcoming public hearings, and by submitting formal comments with recommendations on how to best proceed. These draft regulations appear to be headed in the right direction, but they must go further.”
PennFuture supports a full and complete ban on all fracking activities in the Delaware River Basin. PennFuture will actively engage in the public comment process of the draft regulations issued to ensure that the Commission is fulfilling its mission to “act as stewards of the Basin’s water resources.”
PennFuture is leading the transition to a clean energy economy in Pennsylvania and beyond. We are protecting our air, water and land, and empowering citizens to build sustainable communities for future generations. For more information, visit www.pennfuture.org.