February 20, 2018

Don’t Drill the Delaware / DRBC Regulations Vote–Meeting Cancelled


Delaware’s Gov. Markell and New York’s Gov. Cuomo have stepped off the train; Now it’s time to punch the tickets of the other voting members of the DRBC!

We need to gather together to make this pause permanent!
Please Join Us
Trenton War Memorial
Monday November 21 2011
Rally and March 11:00 am- 3:00 pm

In a stunning victory for the public and for the Delaware River Watershed, the Delaware River Basin Commission cancelled the Nov. 21 meeting where they were planning to vote on opening the Delaware River Watershed to gas drilling and fracking. Governor Markell of Delaware and Governor Cuomo of New York have both announced they will vote no. We must redouble our efforts so that at least 3 voting members are committed to protecting our water supplies and communities by preventing the pollution that gas drilling and fracking causes. The cancellation of this meeting is a huge victory but it is not the end of our struggle to keep drilling and fracking out of the Delaware River Watershed. Governor Chris Christie and President Obama (represented by the Army Corps of Engineers) – voting members of the DRBC – need to hear from us “Don’t Drill the Delaware!” So, please come to Trenton Monday!

Rally and Press Conference: 11:00 am outside Trenton War Memorial, 1 Memorial Drive, Trenton, New Jersey

Speakers: Josh Fox; Mark Ruffalo; Debra Winger; community, environmental, and constituency groups march from War Memorial to Gov. Christie’s office at the State House and Welcome to Trenton (NJ Legislators): 12:15 pm-1:00 pm

Post-gathering at Quaker Friends Meeting House (142 E. Hanover St.): 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

NONVIOLENCE TRAINING is still being held both in Trenton NJ and New York City on Sunday, November 20. Sign up here: http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/about/event.aspx?Id=160

Logistics, buses, overnight accommodations are still available, sign up here: http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/about/event.aspx?Id=160

For more information on gas drilling www.delawareriverkeeper.org

Read the press release here.

DRBC Postpones November 21 Special Meeting (New Meeting Date Still To Be Determined)

Media on Delaware’s decision to vote NO

DRILLING REGULATIONS RELEASED FOR THE DELAWARE RIVER BASIN We must have a huge attendance and show our outrage.

Revised regulations to be voted on by the Commissioners without any public participation on Nov 21. Vital — if this is the only action you do all year … QUOTE from Josh fox, “…I am calling upon citizens to come out and protest this motion to forever industrialize and contaminate the watershed on November 21st at the DRBC’s meeting in Trenton, NJ.” COME TO THE MEETING — SEE HERE FOR BUSES and HERE FOR OTHER DETAILS

DRBC will vote on November 21st–why you should be concerned AND the “TOP TEN” mistakes in the Revised Drilling Rules.

THE REVISED REGULATIONS ARE POSTED HERE: http://www.state.nj.us/drbc/naturalgas-REVISEDdraftregs110811.pdf
DRBC fact sheet: http://www.state.nj.us/drbc/naturalgas-REVISEDdraftregs-factsheet110811corrected.pdf


Monday, November 21, 2011
Meet 7:30 a.m. on the steps of the Patriots Theater at the War Memorial
1 Memorial Drive, Trenton, New Jersey

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) will decide at its 10 a.m. meeting whether or not to adopt regulations that would allow gas drilling permits to be issued, thus ending the current moratorium in the Delaware River Watershed. If the five commissioners vote to approve, this invaluable watershed would ultimately be littered with some 20,000 wells, drilled horizontally and fracked with truckloads of toxic chemicals. Here is your opportunity to say “no” to the desecration of this water resource for some 15 million people.

Drilling regulations may be approved to allow drilling in the Delaware River Basin on November 21 Save the Day and Attend

There will be a rally before the meeting which is from 10AM to noon — at this meeting the five commissioners will vote whether or not to end the moratorium on drilling in the Delaware River Basin There will NOT be any public comment allowed. We must show up in force. There will be announcements coming about busses which are being arranged cooperatively by several groups to facilitate attendance. (READ PRESS RELEASES BELOW.)

Josh Fox at rally video link

A new video from Josh Fox and Matt Sanchez. The Delaware River Basin is in severe danger. The Delaware River Basin Commission will vote on November 21st on regulations that would allow for thousands (maybe 20,000) gas wells in the river basin. Now is the time to act.

Catskill Mountainkeeper * Delaware Riverkeeper Network
Damascus Citizens for Sustainability
Environment New Jersey * Hudson Riverkeeper
NJ Environmental Federation * New Jersey Sierra Club * NYH2O

November 8, 2011

Groups Protest Delaware River Basin Commission Shutting Out Public from Gas Drilling Decisions

West Trenton, NJ — Organizations from throughout the Delaware River Watershed cried “foul” today because the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) issued what it termed as “modified” natural gas development regulations on November 8, 2011 without any opportunity for public comment, input, or testimony concerning the changes to the draft regulations (www.drbc.net). DRBC released a draft of its proposed rules in December 2010 with a public comment period that closed April 15, 2011. A record number of comments were received by the agency on the draft — 69,800 comments — breaking all records for public involvement. Since then they have been reviewing the comments and announced last month that they would be voting on the draft regulations 10:00am -12:00pm on November 21, 2011 at a special meeting at the War Memorial in Trenton, NJ and that there would be no public hearing and no opportunity for public input into the new version of the regulations. A vote to approve gas regulations would lift the current moratorium on gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin.

“DRBC is slamming the door in the public’s face and it’s simply unacceptable. It’s a gross violation of the public trust not to hear what people have to say about these changed regulations; the deep and unprecedented interest that people have shown to gas drilling is undeniable and our Watershed’s health and future is at stake”, said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper.

“The Upper Delaware River is a nationally recognized ecological treasure and because of its pristine nature is able to provide clean drinking water for millions of people. Now we have the DRBC proposing how to trash it!” said Wes Gillingham Program Director for Catskill Mountainkeeper.

“They are shutting out the people who’s quality of health depends on this river, through a politicized process that is driven the oil and gas industry. It is outrageous.” “They are using this process to weaken the regulations and make them even worse. What they are doing is unconscionable. This is an abuse of power that blocks the right of the public to have a say in a matter that will directly affect their lives,” said Jeff Tittel, Director, New Jersey Sierra Club.

“The New York portion of the Delaware River Basin provides fifty percent of the pristine, unfiltered water that nine million New Yorkers rely on daily,” said Kate Hudson, Riverkeeper Watershed Program Director. “The DRBC should not vote on fracking regulations that threaten this irreplaceable water supply in the absence of the environmental review it was required to conduct and without allowing citizens to weigh in on its last minute revisions to those regulations. By cutting corners and rushing the process, the Commission is ignoring its legal obligations to the public and to the water resources of the Basin it was formed to protect”, concluded Hudson.

“The public is getting stiffed by this decision. The public deserves to comment on these new proposed fracking rules — not to be iced out,” said Doug O’Malley, Field Director for Environment New Jersey. “This is the biggest decision to face the Delaware since the Tocks Island Dam, and the DRBC should allow public comment.”

“Apparently DRBC cares more about Big Oil than the public trust. They’re borrowing gags and blind folds from the fossil fuel industry to keep us in the dark and from speaking about changes to the rules just as Exxon doesn’t want us to know about, or act against, the secret toxic formula it wants to literally pump into our water. Will Governor Christie let them get away with it?” Campaign Director, NJ Environmental Federation.

“The Commission (DRBC) continues to play politics with writing regulations for allowing hydro-fracking in the Delaware River Basin. This river basin cannot be subjected to this abuse. We demand that the commission employ the relevant science that exists about fracking. All of the available geological scientific reporting confirms that fracking will release naturally existing toxic and radioactive materials that will migrate from the deep formations through natural and induced fractures which create pathways for contamination. This happens every single time a well is fracked. The DRBC is a multi-state and federal commission that is required to comply with NEPA and should not have to be sued to do so. Regulations will not stop the industrialization of the watershed and contamination of its resources,” said Joe Levine, NYH2O of New York.

“The Delaware River is as clean as it is today in part because of the Basin Commission’s hard work over many decades – and in part because of citizen involvement demanding that the Basin and the River flow into the future as a clean and healthy sustainer of life. Why would the Basin Commission endanger the River, the public today, and the future by approving gas drilling regulations they admit should be informed by a study of cumulative impacts when this study has not been done and the public is being removed from the process?” said Barbara Arrindell, Director of Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, PA.

The voting members of the DRBC — Governor Andrew Cuomo (NY), Governor Chris Christie (NJ), Governor Jack Markell (DE), and Governor Tom Corbett (PA), as the Governors of the four states that drain to the Delaware River and Colonel Christopher Larsen of the US Army Corps of Engineers, the federal representative — have been receivinga barrage of letters and phone calls over the past two months since the November 21 meeting was set, including a virtual march on the DRBC through social media and call-in days to voting members’ offices. President Barack Obama as the elected federal official has also been receiving the communications. Several hundred people are expected to attend the DRBC Meeting to protest DRBC’s consideration of the commencement of gas drilling, traveling from throughout the 13,000 square mile basin, including buses from as far as 5 hours away.

Public debate has raged over the past 3 years in the Watershed due to the environmental impacts of gas drilling where it is occurring and continuing revelations that drilling and fracking is not safe and is causing hundreds of pollution incidents. The DRBC has not done comprehensive environmental analyses to assess the immediate and cumulative impacts of natural gas development on the water resources of the Delaware River Basin, water supply for over 15 million people, including New York City, Philadelphia and large populations in all four watershed states, jeopardizing this sole source of water.

PRESS RELEASE from Public Interest Groups
about the November 21 DRBC meeting

October 12, 2011
Contact: Kate Fried, Food & Water Watch, (202) 683.4905

Public Interest Groups to President Obama and Delaware River Basin Commissioners: Don’t Freeze the Public Out of Historic Fracking Decision

West Trenton, N.J.– Today a coalition of 36 environmental, consumer and community organizations urged the Delaware River Basin Commission to reconsider its recent decision to postpone a special meeting to decide whether or not to allow hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the Delaware River Basin. Originally scheduled for October 21, the commission announced last week it would instead hold the vote on November 21, the week of Thanksgiving. In a letter to the commission, groups opposed the new date because it will inhibit public participation in this historic decision. If draft natural gas fracking regulations are approved, up to 20,000 fracking wells could be drilled near the Delaware River, a source of drinking water for 15 million Americans.

“Moving the meeting to the week of a major national holiday is at best an oversight, and at worst, an attempt to curtail public involvement in an issue that affects millions of Americans,” said Jim Walsh, eastern region director for Food & Water Watch. “The commission should demonstrate its commitment to the democratic process by rescheduling the vote to take place after the holiday season.”

“The members of the Delaware River Basin Commission are responsible for the careful management of the water supply for over 15 million Americans, and more and more people are learning about this,” added Delaware Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum. “We are asking the commission members to stand with us and the communities of the basin by not allowing drilling and fracking to commence while scientists and technicians are trying to get a handle on the dangerous practices employed for shale gas extraction. We are asking them to stop and listen to the public before it is too late. Don’t drill the Delaware.”

Comprised of representatives for the Obama administration, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Delaware Governor Jack Markell and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, the Delaware River Basin Commission is a federal and multi-state regulatory body responsible for protecting the integrity of the Delaware River Basin.

“The public has a right to be present for this critical Delaware River Basin Commission decision and deserves a reasonable date that does not deny them their opportunity to do so,” said Riverkeeper Watershed Program Director Kate Hudson. “The Delaware River Basin Commission’s gas drilling regulations would pose a major threat to the New York City Watershed, as the basin area currently provides 50 percent of the clean, unfiltered drinking water that nine million New Yorkers depend on daily.”

“The Delaware River Basin Commission should delay any meeting on the adoption of the natural gas fracking regulations until the public has adequate time to review and comment on any changes. We believe it is wrong to try to rush these rules through without proper scrutiny and appropriate public input,” added New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel.

Fracking relies on large quantities of water and a toxic cocktail of chemicals to extract natural gas from underground rock formations. To date, over 1,000 cases of water contamination have been reported near fracking sites across the United States. Over the past two years, ten major studies by scientists, policy makers, investigative journalists and public interest groups have linked the process to significant environmental and public health problems such as degraded water quality, exposure to radioactivity and methane and benzene pollution, among others.

“With an extraordinary volume of evidence continuing to mount regarding the myriad reasons to ban fracking, it is sickening and beyond logic that the Delaware River Basin Commission, charged with protecting one of the most valuable water supplies on earth, proposes to open the gates to this risky, intense and intrinsically contaminating industrial activity,” said Joe Levine, co-founder of DCS and NYH20.

While lax regulation of fracking and technological advances have prompted some industry insiders to promote the process as a “game changer,” the long-term economic promises of fracking have been called into question in recent months. An analysis of the process by the United States Geological Survey forced the U.S. Department of Energy to lower its estimated reserves of gas in the Marcellus Shale by 80 percent. In August New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent subpoenas to Range Resources, Cabot Oil and Gas, Goodrich Petroleum and Chesapeake Energy, four of the nation’s largest energy companies, to determine if they are overstating their natural gas production. This followed a New York Times investigation, which found that the industry is over-predicting gas forecasts.

“Keeping the public in the dark on what the commission will be voting on, and scheduling that vote during the holidays, whether by intent or inattention, is wrong,” said David Pringle, campaign director for the NJ Environmental Federation. “President Obama and Governor Christie need to do right by New Jersey and delay this vote until the public can determine for themselves whether any changes to the current draft rules provide the protections environmentalists and the Christie Administration say the current draft does not.”

“Two years ago when seventeen cows died in agony in Louisiana within one hour of consuming fracking wastewater, which Chesapeake Energy claimed was 99 percent water and only 1 percent fracking chemicals, we all learned just how deadly fracking fluids really are. The public has the right to be heard on such a deadly process—one that is making people sick and killing animals in over seven states right now, including Pennsylvania,” added Iris Marie Bloom founder and director of Protecting Our Waters.

Opposition to the controversial practice is gaining momentum across the U.S., especially in the Northeast. To date, over 100 municipalities in the U.S. have taken action against fracking.

“When the time was moved for the October’s meeting to the morning, the reason was a scheduling conflict at the War Memorial. Does that scheduling conflict still exist?” asked B. Arrindell of Damascus Citizens for Sustainability. “This timing is just another hurdle to public participation.”

“No American should have to worry about the quality of their drinking water, or be on the hook for the uncounted billions that will be necessary to repair infrastructure, mitigate health impacts and clean up the hundreds of environmental accidents that will be part and parcel of fracking,” said Jill Weiner of Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy.

The coalition of groups signed signed-on to the letter include: Basha Kill Area Association; Bergen CC Environmental Club; Bayshore Regional Watershed Council; Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy; Berks Gas Truth; Catskill Mountain Keeper; Clean Ocean Action; Damascus Citizens for Sustainability; Delaware Riverkeeper Network; East Brunswick Congregational Church; Food & Water Watch; Friends of Sustainable Sidney; Fly Creek & Cooperstown; Franciscan Response to Fracking—New Jersey Chapter; Grey Panthers NYC Network; Holy Name Province Justice Peace and Integration of Creation Directorate; Jersey Shore Group, Sierra Club; Light Alliance Foundation, Inc.; Neighbors of the Onondanga Nation; NJ Environment Federation; NJ Friends of Cleanwater; NJ Sierra Club; New Jersey Sustainable Collegiate Partners; NYH20; Otsego 2000; Otsego Neighbors; Otisco Lake Preservation Association; Pennsylvania Brotherhood, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, IBT; Protecting Our Waters; Reach Out America; Riverkeeper, Inc.; Sullivan Alliance for Sustainable Development; Save Plumstead; Sierra Club Moshannon Group; Transition Newton; United for Action.

The letter to the Delaware River Basin Commission can be read here: http://documents.foodandwaterwatch.org/DRBCDelayLetter10122011.pdf

Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.