Welcome to another Watershed Wednesday! Each Wednesday until March 30, Mountainkeeper will send out reminders and sample comments to make it easy for you to urge the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to say no to fracking and all drilling activities in its fracking regulations. There’s no limit to the number of comments you can submit.
This week, all eyes are on a section of DRBC’s proposal that will allow fracking companies to bring hazardous wastewater to treatment plants in the basin. And those plants would be allowed to accept fracking waste for treatment and discharge. We need to tell the commissioners: no wastewater in the basin. Not for treatment, not for discharge, not for anything. The only way we can protect the river is to prevent fracking and all its associated activities in the basin.
TODAY: Submit a comment to the DRBC. Tell the commissioners: fracking wastewater cannot be imported into, treated, or regulated in the watershed–it must be banned.
According to the DRBC itself, fracking wastewater from the Marcellus Shale formation includes potent and toxic cancer-causing chemicals that are hazardous to human health and our river ecosystem. In May 2015, an EPA study characterized 457 hydraulic fracturing related spills that occurred between January 2006 and April 2012 in eleven states. The study stated, “Spills can affect both surface and groundwater resources, both locally and regionally, within the host state and in adjoining states. Pollution from spills and from hydraulic fracturing has occurred in parts of Pennsylvania outside the basin where high volume hydraulic fracturing is occurring.”
15 million people rely on the Delaware River Basin for drinking water. The DRBC cannot allow corporate polluters to haul fracking waste into our watershed for treatment and discharge. The commission must ban fracking wastewater in the basin to protect our health and our environment. Your comments are critically important for convincing the DRBC to do the right thing. The stakes couldn’t be higher.
To make the comment process easier, and for folks with limited internet access, we’ve prepared some simple ways for you to weigh in as often as you can over the next month and a half. Simply click here to find an easy form where you can type your own comments. And in the form itself, we’ve added a link to some suggested comments in case you’re looking for inspiration. We’ll collect all comments submitted and deliver them to the DRBC.
If this is the first you’re hearing about this, read on below for more info about the river, the commission, and DRBC’s proposal. Otherwise, please submit a comment now and tell the DRBC that it needs to ban fracking, water withdrawals for fracking, and wastewater storage and disposal to protect our families’ health and keep our water clean.
Thank you for all the love you show our water,
Wes Gillingham, Mountainkeeper Associate Director
About the Delaware River – The Delaware River Basin is a 13,539 square mile territory that stretches from New York’s Schoharie County south to Delaware Bay and includes much of Delaware County and Sullivan County in New York State, and the Poconos in Pennsylvania. Over 15,000,000 people rely on the waters of the Delaware River Basin for drinking, agricultural and industrial use. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy and the governors of Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York signed a compact with the force of law to create a regional body–the Delaware River Basin Commission–to manage the Delaware River and the land through which it runs. It was the first time the federal government and a group of states joined together to oversee a river basin.
About the Draft Regulations – The DRBC issued draft natural gas regulations on Nov. 30, 2017 and the public may comment until March 30, 2018. The commission proposed a ban on fracking in the basin, but in the same draft regulations also proposed allowing companies to store, process, and discharge toxic fracking wastewater into the Delaware River Watershed. The proposal also allows water to be exported from the basin for fracking elsewhere.
About our Comment Process – Due to the comment process DRBC implemented, Catskill Mountainkeeper has teamed up with some of our closest partners to make it easier for our supporters and activists to file comments opposing the flawed proposed regulations. Simply fill out our comment form, and we’ll deliver all the comments to the DRBC. You’ll get an auto-response with the full text of your submission so you’ll know it went through.
Every Wednesday through the end of March we will be sending out reminders and examples of comments you can tailor for your own submission, and we’ll touch on different topics. Feel free to comment once or submit a number of comments on the issues you care about the most.
Thanks for all you do, and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.