February 19, 2017

Tell the DRBC to Ban Fracking in the Delaware River Basin

Petition to the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to Prohibit oil and gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin.

Keep Fracking Out of the Delaware River Basin

Keep Fracking Out of the Delaware River Basin

This urgent request in light of drilling interests suing the DRBC questioning the Commission’s right to regulate drilling. Please download the petition, get as many signatures as you can and return it to DCS.


The pristine beauty of the Delaware River Basin is never quite as evocative as during the holiday season. The stark beauty is not marred with gas or oil wells. The health and character of our communities remain unspoiled only because of community-supported advocacy. DCS has led the fight to protect the Basin since 2008. You can help by signing this petition and by donating to DCS (see our 2016 Appeal letter). You are DCS.


Petition Background:

For over eight years, we have asked how can drilling — with all its known and demonstrable risks to human communities, to flora, fauna, food – and watersheds -– be compatible with the Basin Compact which states,”that pollution by sewage or industrial or other waste originating within a signatory state shall not injuriously affect waters of the basin as contemplated by the comprehensive plan.” Drilling and associated activities cannot be made compatible with the DRBC’s jurisdiction and mandate: “to control future pollution and abate existing pollution in the waters of the basin.” The Compact very clearly specifies that, “The ground waters of the Basin shall not contain substances or properties attributable to the activities of man in concentrations or amounts sufficient to endanger or preclude the water uses to be protected. Within this requirement, the ground waters shall be free from substances or properties in concentrations or combinations which are toxic or harmful to human, animal, plant, or aquatic life, or that produce color, taste, or odor of the waters.”

Just as the DRBC’s Executive Director’s Determination of May 19, 2009 blocked shale wells and the Supplemental Determination extended that block to ‘test’ wells, because of a “… recognition that as a result of water withdrawals, wastewater disposal and other activities, natural gas extraction projects in shale formations could individually or cumulatively affect the water quality of Special Protection Waters by altering their physical, biological, chemical or hydrological characteristics.” And additionally all ‘test’ wells were also stopped in June, 2010, when the industry withdrew from a DRBC Hearing in the face of extensive expert testimony assembled by DCS and Delaware RiverKeeper that vertical, conventional wells reaching any formation layer also present clear dangers to the DRB.

Conventional, unconventional or fracked gas/oil wells have no place in the Basin. The cumulative impacts of all aspects of drilling, associated activities and wastes cause documented damage locally, regionally and globally. Damage to to the DRB could impact the health of at least 15 million people and totally transform and degrade the hydrological qualities of the Basin, destroying the pristine quality of the watershed and resulting in major and permanent damage to all aspects of the Delaware River water resource.

We are determined to prevent that damage, as we believe the DRBC must also be. It is with this regard for the health of the DRB and all its present and future inhabitants that we petition the DRBC to prohibit all gas and oil drilling in all portions of the Delaware River Basin.