Lawsuits are Piling Up Against Drilllers & Complacent Commissions

NY Attorney General Prepares to Sue DRBC; Maryland AG Sues Chesapeake O&G; PA’s Croton Watershed Commission Sues New York State DEP

Posted April 18, 2011, Updated May 11, 2011

Delaware Waters Must Be Protected From Fracking Dangers: AG

Article by Ilya Marritz, wnyc.org

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is threatening to sue an obscure but powerful intergovernmental agency, saying it’s not doing enough to protect the Delaware River basin from the dangers of fracking for natural gas. The agency in the cross hairs is the Delaware River Basin Commission, which includes representatives of the governors of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware as well as the Army Corps of Engineers, representing the federal government.

The DRBC is charged with managing the river’s waters, and keeping them clean and safe. Millions in New York, Philadelphia and smaller cities and towns depend on the Delaware for their drinking water. Schneiderman said the DRBC skipped an important step when it began writing draft regulations on controversial natural gas drilling, which has been proposed near the headwaters of the Delaware, in the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to conduct and environmental review before creating new regulations on activities with the potential to adversely affect health and the environment, Schneiderman said.

“Both the law and common sense dictate that the federal government must fully assess the impact of its actions before opening the door to gas fracking in New York,” Schneiderman said.

The attorney general said he’s giving the DRBC 30 days to initiate a review or meet him in court.

The DRBC said it has not yet received Schneiderman’s letter, and is not commenting at this time.

Update: SOURCE: ProtectingOurWaters,com, Article by Kristan Boose

Maryland Sues Chesapeake
Last Monday, Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler notified Chesapeake Energy that his state would sue the energy giant for violating the Clean Water Act and other federal environmental statutes. The suit was triggered by the April 19th fracking disaster in Bradford County, PA, which spewed hundreds of thousands of gallons of poisonous fracking fluid into the environment. Farmland was contaminated, families were forced to flee their homes, and the fluid contaminated a tributary of the Susquehanna River, which supplies more than six million people with drinking water. 

”Companies cannot expose citizens to dangerous chemicals that pose serious health risks to the environment and to public health,” said Gansler. The AG promised to use “all resources available to hold Chesapeake Energy accountable for its actions.”
And CWCWC sues the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
On the very next day the Croton Watershed Clean Water Coalition announced that it was suing the New York State DEC to declare that high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) in state forests would violate the New York State Constitution and applicable environmental laws.
These two lawsuits come just weeks after New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman warned the Delaware River Basin Commission that New York would sue if the DRBC went ahead with plans to permit fracking without first conducting a study to determine how this could affect the drinking water of fifteen million Americans.
Alice Zinnes comments:  “For years the gas industry has been telling us that fracking would create lots of new jobs. They never us told many of those jobs would end up going to lawyers.”
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