Thursday, June 15, 2017

Activists to basin commissioners: Ban drilling and fracking


Thomas Friestad reports for the Bucks County Courier Times:


The Delaware River Basin Commission met before a copy of Emanuel Leutze's 1851 painting "Washington Crossing the Delaware" painting Wednesday morning at Washington Crossing Historic Park. In response, environmental activists encouraged the board to "have courage like the men in the boats" by banning fracking and drilling in the Delaware River Watershed.
About 75 activists hailed from the basin's four states — Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware — and roughly half spoke on behalf of different groups during the public comment section of the meeting in Upper Makefield.
"Fracking damages the beauty of our communities, fracking wastewater trucks destroy our roads and fracking wells leak methane into our water," said Marguerite Chandler, a member of the group No Fracking Bucks. "Very few decisions can make the impact on future generations that this one (to ban the practices) can."
The five commissioners had placed an indefinite moratorium on watershed fracking in May 2010, voting unanimously to postpone judgment on fracking projects until members could study and discuss the practice's impact and draft regulations, a process that remains ongoing, according to the commission's website.
But speakers argued that an outright ban is necessary to safeguard the watershed over the long term.
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