Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Vote tomorrow on Delaware River basin fracking ban

Associated Press photo
Frank Kummer reports for Philly.com:

The Delaware River Basin Commission said Monday that it would consider a resolution Wednesday to make permanent the current moratorium on natural-gas development near the river, a move met with both joy and caution by environmentalists.

The DRBC measure would “include prohibitions related to the production of natural gas utilizing horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing” within the 13,539-square-mile basin.

“The revised draft regulations also would include provisions for ensuring the safe and protective storage, treatment, disposal or discharge of hydraulic fracturing-related wastewater where permitted, and provide for the regulation of inter-basin transfers of water and wastewater for purposes of natural-gas development where permitted,” the commission said in a statement.

The DRBC, a regulatory body with representatives from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the federal government, will vote only to introduce the resolution, beginning a months-long process. The resolution would direct the commission’s executive director, Steven J. Tambini, to prepare revised rules that would be brought up for public comment by Nov. 30. Hearings would be held.

Wednesday’s meeting is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at the Linksz Pavilion at Bucks County Community College in Newtown.

The moratorium was initiated in 2010 by the DRBC, which oversees the water supply of 15 million people. If a permanent ban is approved, it would apply to Pike and Wayne Counties in northeastern Pennsylvania, part of the nation’s largest gas field, the Marcellus Shale.

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