Legality of Susquehanna River Basin Commission Hearing Challenged

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Thursday, December 21, 2011):

Today, a consortium of seven conservation and environmental groups have sent a letter to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, asking the Commissioners to reconvene to complete its meeting held on December 15.  Last week, the Commission hastily adjourned its meeting in Wilkes-Barre, after a group of citizens challenged its authority, shouted at the Commissioners and disrupted the meeting.
The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) has been notified that actions taken by the Commission on December 15 [in particular, a vote which approved 24 water withdrawals for fracking, guaranteeing the fracking industry four years’ worth of consumptive water use in high-volume fracking operations] were done so “off the record”, and are therefore not legally binding. Members of the public not involved in the disruptions were denied their right to present testimony on Marcellus natural gas drilling water withdrawal applications.
The SRBC held its meeting on December 15 in Wilkes-Barre to consider a series of natural gas drilling water withdrawal applications.  In response to some outspoken members of the public, the SRBC meeting was adjourned, and then the Commissioners proceeded to vote off the record to approve the water withdrawal applications. By adjourning the meeting prematurely, members of the public who wished to provide testimony on the individual water withdrawals were prevented from doing so. Please contact the following for additional information and a copy of the letter.
Thomas Au
Conservation Chair
PA Sierra Club
Nadia Steinzor
Marcellus Shale Regional Organizer
Liz Garland Deardorff, Director
American Rivers Pennsylvania Clean Water Program 763-0742
Protecting Our Waters, (215) 840-6489
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