Drilling is likely to begin in the Delaware River Watershed – the source of drinking water for 15.6 million people – in a matter of weeks or months
On Monday, November 7, 2011, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), made up of representatives from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and a representative for President Obama, issued revised Natural Gas Development Guidelines for the Delaware River Watershed that establish the basis on which fracking will take place in the Delaware River Watershed, the sole or major source of fresh drinking water for over 15 million people. On November 21, 2011, the DRBC will vote on whether to adopt them.
This vote will come just 14 days after the guidelines were issued, and the public will not be given a chance to comment on them. While an ongoing comprehensive analysis of the revised rules is being done by technical experts and legal staff, we’ve already seen glaring problems in the revised rules, some of them substantial changes from the original draft. These span the gamut from the weakening of water quality protections to the lack of any cumulative impact controls to public health. For example, DRBC regulations continue to allow very large open pits to hold toxic flowback and gas drilling wastewater over long periods of time that would create risks of surface and groundwater contamination and be a constant source of air pollution.
What Does It Mean?
This means that the commission could start issuing permits for fracking in the Delaware River Watershed in just weeks or months, and that the public will have no say about as many as 20,000 wells that are planned for the area. In the year since the commission first took testimony and comment, dramatic amounts of new scientific data have become available showing that fracking in this national treasure creates significant risk of damage to the area’s water and air, as well as substantial threat to the health of humans and animals living in the affected area.
What Can You Do?
This is a travesty that cannot go unchallenged!
Catskill Mountainkeeper along with many other organizations are organizing an extremely important demonstration in Trenton, NJ on Monday November 21st at the Patriots Theater at the War Memorial, 1 Memorial Drive, Trenton, NJ beginning at 8:00 AM. Our State and Federal lawmakers and leaders, the media and our fellow citizens must hear our protest and outrage.
If you live anywhere in the Marcellus Shale or in the affected area, your ecosystem, your health, the water you drink and the air you breathe is at high risk of being negatively affected. Put this date on your calendar. Be there.
Come to the Hearings on November 21!!!!
Public pressure makes a big difference. Call the Governors of the member states and President Obama today. Tell them “I am extremely opposed to drilling in the Delaware Watershed especially without proper due process and environmental impact studies”.
NY – Governor Cuomo (518) 474-8390
NJ – Governor Christie (609) 292-6000
PA – Governor Corbett (717) 787-2500
DE – Governor Markell (302) 577-3210
President Obama (202) 456-1111
How You Can Help:
We are up against the richest and most influential industry in the world. Catskill Mountainkeeper and our allies have surprised many critics by being so effective to date. But it continues to be a long, hard fight and we need your financial assistance to continue. Please give as generously as you can.