Quantcast

170+ Groups Urge Delaware River Basin Commission to Maintain Ban on Fracking

Energy

Food & Water Watch

More than 170 consumer, faith, business and environmental organizations from four states delivered a letter to members of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) on Sept. 12, urging them to maintain the current ban on hydraulic fracturing throughout the Delaware River Basin. The commission is currently considering the possibility of opening up the basin to fracking, which would put the entire region at risk of numerous health and environmental hazards associated with the highly controversial natural gas drilling method. In particular, fracking has been known contaminate rivers and groundwater, and if allowed to occur in the basin would threaten drinking water supplies for 15.6 million residents.

"The Delaware River Basin is a national treasure that millions of Americans rely on for clean drinking water, healthy food and outstanding recreational opportunities. Fracking would jeopardize all of this," said Jim Walsh, regional director at Food & Water Watch, a consumer advocacy group and signer of the letter. "The DRBC needs to uphold its responsibility to protect the region, not subject it to the mass industrialization, air pollution and toxic spills that fracking would inevitably bring."

“The current drilling moratorium is not only sensible, it is the only responsible thing to do, especially as more and more evidence of pollution and harmful health effects emerge next door in Pennsylvania,” said Tracy Carluccio, deputy director of Delaware Riverkeeper Network, a signer of the letter.  “The time is right for the DRBC to make the moratorium permanent."

“The evidence has grown stronger and public concern has skyrocketed to stop dangerous gas drilling anywhere in the Delaware River Basin,” said Doug O’Malley, interim director with Environment New Jersey. “The DRBC should make the current moratorium on gas drilling permanent.”

“As downstream stakeholders, Delawareans are greatly concerned about the consequences of fracking in the basin. We urge the DRBC to proceed with greater transparency in their consideration of shale gas development in the region,” said Amy Roe, Ph.D., conservation chair of the Sierra Club Delaware Chapter, a signer of the letter.

New Jersey has enacted a moratorium on fracking, and the state’s legislature passed a bill with strong bipartisan support prohibiting the discharge, disposal, storage or processing of drilling and fracking waste in the state. The bill awaits action from Gov. Christie.

A moratorium also exists in New York State, where a broad coalition of consumer, environmental, labor, business, faith and community groups are applying ever-increasing pressure on Governor Cuomo to ban fracking permanently. A recent poll of the state’s likely voters found that pluralities of Democrats and upstate residents (who would be most directly and most immediately affected by fracking) oppose the practice. On Aug. 27 more than 1,500 people rallied at the State Capitol in opposition to fracking.

Outside the Delaware River Basin, Vermont and Maryland have joined numerous municipal governments across the country, imposing either bans or moratoria on drilling and fracking.

“Shale gas development hurts more than drinking water. As we see communities being devastated by compressor stations, gas processing plants and other toxic infrastructure, and now that we know fracking accelerates climate change, rural and urban voices have joined together clearly to say: Don't Drill the Delaware," said Iris Marie Bloom, executive director of Protecting Our Waters, a signer of the letter.

“We can’t trust the gas industry with the safety of any individual’s drinking water, let alone 16 million people’s water. The DRBC must continue protecting the millions of people who rely on this water, not pave the way for Big Gas to reap massive profits at our expense,” said Elijah Zarlin of CREDO.

“The formation of the DRBC in 1961 was an historic public policy action to protect the waters of the entire river basin. We urge the commission today to continue upholding the moral and ethical values that have been entrusted to it by voting to ban fracking here,” said Suzanne Golas, director of WATERSPIRIT.

Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A dead sea lion on the beach at Border Field State Park, near the international border wall between San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico. Sherry Smith / iStock / Getty Images

While Trump's border wall has yet to be completed, the threat it poses to pollinators is already felt, according to the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, as reported by Transmission & Distribution World.

Read More Show Less
People crossing the Brooklyn Bridge on July 20, 2017 in New York City sought to shield themselves from the sun as the temperature reached 93 degrees. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

by Jordan Davidson

Taking action to stop the mercury from rising is a matter of life and death in the U.S., according to a new study published in the journal Science Advances.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Salmon fry before being released just outside San Francisco Bay. Jim Wilson / The New York Times / Redux

By Alisa Opar

For Chinook salmon, the urge to return home and spawn isn't just strong — it's imperative. And for the first time in more than 65 years, at least 23 fish that migrated as juveniles from California's San Joaquin River and into the Pacific Ocean have heeded that call and returned as adults during the annual spring run.

Read More Show Less
AnnaPustynnikova / iStock / Getty Images

By Kerri-Ann Jennings, MS, RD

Shiitake mushrooms are one of the most popular mushrooms worldwide.

Read More Show Less
Protesters hold a banner and a placard while blocking off the road during a protest against Air pollution in London. Ryan Ashcroft / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Dozens of students, parents, teachers and professionals joined a Friday protest organized by Extinction Rebellion that temporarily stalled morning rush-hour traffic in London's southeasten borough of Lewisham to push politicians to more boldly address dangerous air pollution across the city.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Jose A. Bernat Bacete / Moment / Getty Images

By Bridget Shirvell

On a farm in upstate New York, a cheese brand is turning millions of pounds of food scraps into electricity needed to power its on-site businesses. Founded by eight families, each with their own dairy farms, Craigs Creamery doesn't just produce various types of cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss and Muenster cheeses, sold in chunks, slices, shreds and snack bars; they're also committed to becoming a zero-waste operation.

Read More Show Less
Coal ash has contaminated the Vermilion River in Illinois. Eco-Justice Collaborative / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Jessica A. Knoblauch

Summers in the Midwest are great for outdoor activities like growing your garden or cooling off in one of the area's many lakes and streams. But some waters aren't as clean as they should be.

That's in part because coal companies have long buried toxic waste known as coal ash near many of the Midwest's iconic waterways, including Lake Michigan. Though coal ash dumps can leak harmful chemicals like arsenic and cadmium into nearby waters, regulators have done little to address these toxic sites. As a result, the Midwest is now littered with coal ash dumps, with Illinois containing the most leaking sites in the country.

Read More Show Less

picture-alliance / AP Photo / NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center

The Group of 20 major economies agreed a deal to reduce marine pollution at a meeting of their environment ministers on Sunday in Karuizawa, Japan.

Read More Show Less