The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) is about to issue a broad range of regulations related to how gas drilling using hydrofracking will be conducted in the Delaware River Basin. The Basin is a 13,539 square mile territory that stretches from New York’s Delaware County south to Delaware Bay and includes much of Sullivan County in New York State.
These regulations are being issued in spite of calls from federal officials, federal agencies and environmental groups that the Commission wait for the results of the EPA Hydraulic Fracturing Study, which is now being conducted and a Cumulative Impact Study proposed by Rep. Maurice Hinchey whose funding is currently being approved by Congress.
Brig. Gen. Peter “Duke” Deluca, the Army Corps of Engineers federal representative on the Delaware River Basin Commission is ignoring these appeals and has said that the Commission will not wait for the results of these scientific studies because it does not want to delay the economic boost he says that drilling could bring.
In a strongly worded response, Rep. Hinchey reminded the General that the DRBC’s mission is the environment and not the economy and that under the DRBC Compact and other federal designations impacting the Delaware River Basin, such an interpretation of the federal role is inappropriate and has no basis in statute or regulation.
The DRBC was created in 1961 to address regional water conflicts, and is made up of representatives of the governors of four states, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey as well as Brig. Gen DeLuca from the Army Corps of Engineers who acts as the President’s representative. Its stated mission is oversight of the Basin’s water quality and sources of pollution.
It is abundantly clear that Brig. Gen. DeLuca is acting in a rogue manner and it is now up to us to make sure that his point of view will not prevail and that regulations are not issued until the science can be reviewed.
Please click here to send letters to Mark Klotz (the NY State representative on the DRBC) and Carol Collier, Executive Director of the DRBC.
We must tell them that:
1. The DRBC’s mission is the environment not the economy
2. The DRBC’s role is to prohibit and control pollution of the waters of the Basin
3. Regulations governing the permitting for gas drilling using hydrofracking should not be issued until the results of the EPA Hydraulic Fracturing Study and the Cumulative Impact Study are completed and assimilated.
We cannot allow gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin to threaten the drinking water for millions of people and turn this beautiful river into an industrial zone.
Image Credit: CC license by todshenderson on Photobucket