Delaware River Basin Commission Begins Fracking Ban Process

The public comment period ends February 28, 2018

Click here for details on how to submit your comments.

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) voted to begin the lengthy process of enacting a ban on fracking in the Delaware River watershed on September 13, 2017. The commissioners did not adopt natural gas development regulations at this meeting. The representatives of the governors of Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware voted for the procedural resolution. The representative for New Jersey abstained, and the representative for the EPA voted against it.

The resolution directs the staff to draft regulations which will be published no later than November 30, with hearings and a public comment period to follow. The resolution includes language addressing, but not banning, regulation of withdrawal of water from the river and its tributaries and disposal of fracking wastewater in the Delaware watershed.

Close monitoring of this situation will be vital to the cause of protecting the drinking water of more than 15 million people. Valley Forge Trout Unlimited will continue to keep you informed as to what you can do to convince the Delaware River Basin Commission to permanently ban fracking, horizontal drilling, water withdrawal and wastewater disposal in the Delaware River watershed.

From the DRBC website:

The procedural resolution approved on September 13, 2017 and an updated set of frequently asked questions (FAQs), along with additional background information, can be viewed at www.nj.gov/drbc/programs/natural/.

Following publication of the revised draft regulations, the public input process will include one or more hearings and ample opportunity for written comments. No action on the revised draft rules will be taken by the commission until the public comment process is completed. The commissioners will consider changes to the revised draft regulations that may be appropriate based on the comments received.

Details about the public hearing(s) and instructions for submitting written comments will be included in the notice of proposed rulemaking to be published no later than Nov. 30. Interested persons are invited to regularly check the commission’s web site at www.drbc.net and follow DRBC on Twitter (@DRBC1961) for information as it becomes available.

Written or oral comments received before the draft rules are published and the comment period officially opens will not be included in the rulemaking record.