Posts Tagged ‘DRBC’

Don’t Drill The Delaware!

January 19, 2017

An Urgent Call to Action from the Delaware Riverkeeper Network 

Please sign the letter,”Tell DRBC: Permanent ban on fracking now!” Once again, shale gas development threatens the Delaware River Basin, a national treasure, and the drinking water source for 17 million people.

“There seems to be new interest on the part of DRBC staff to rekindle the development of gas development regulations, which would lift the current moratorium.  We must tell the DRBC that NOW IS THE TIME to enact a permanent ban on all gas development, including drilling and fracking, in the Delaware River Watershed.” – Delaware Riverkeeper Network

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Photo: Susan Phillips, NPR

TAKE ACTION:

Support the call for the Delaware River Basin Commission to adopt a ban on gas and oil development in the Delaware River Watershed. Sign on to the letter to the Governors of the four states that flow to the Delaware River and tributary streams – Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware – and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as the federal representative, to immediately adopt a ban on all oil and gas development in the Delaware River Watershed.

Tell DRBC: Enact a Permanent Ban on Fracking NOW!

If you are a member of an organization who would like to sign on to the effort to ban fracking in the Delaware River Watershed, please sign here.

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Don’t Frack The Gap!  Photo: National Parks Conservation

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Keep Watershed Science Safe

January 17, 2017

How Will Ambient Delaware River Water Quality Assessment Data Fare Under Trump’s Tiny Thumb?

‘What we’re seeing is environmental McCarthyism,’ said Patricia Kim, a graduate fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, of the incoming administration. She was commenting at a ‘guerrilla archiving eventat the University of Toronto in December, 2016, which was aimed at informing climate scientists how best to preserve climate data ahead of the Trump presidency.

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There’s No Replacin’ A River Basin

The Delaware River Basin Commission reports regularly on water quality issues pertaining to the watershed. Published data sets are posted online here:  http://www.nj.gov/drbc/quality/datum/

Keeping the database is part of the DRBC’s responsibility, according to law, passed by congress in 1961. Nevertheless, now would be a great time to acknowledge this essential and invaluable public service, and to assure the DRBC of our support for the protection of their data along with our drinking water supply.

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Donald Trump Is Like Rock Snot

December 1, 2016

He’s slimy, offensive and a threat to the ecology.

Like rock snot, Trump’s proposed policies would be devastating to Pennsylvania’s watersheds. Like rock snot, a Trump administration may be a danger to the drinking water of 17 million people in the Delaware River Watershed. Like rock snot, Trump jeopardizes the integrity of our state’s tourist economy. Plus, he’s just gross.

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Didymo, often referred to as rock snot, kind of looks like Donald Trump’s hair.
Didymosphenia geminata, or Didymo, is a single celled, invasive algae. “Thick mats of Didymo can crowd out or smother more biologically valuable algae growing on the riverbed. Didymo is easily spread, and the chance of it hitchhiking its way into nearby streams or rivers that currently lack this unwanted invader is cause for alarm.”

According to Reince Priebus, Trump’s White House chief of staff, climate denial is the president-elect’s official default position. While the rest of the world scoffs, Trump has repeatedly promised to boost gas and coal. He is currently, albeit quietly, appointing frackers and climate change deniers to top cabinet posts. The current frontrunners in The Appointee Apprentice are Myron Ebell for EPA Chief, and fracking billionaire, Harold Hamm, for Secretary of Energy, swamp-dwelling industry insiders both. Hamm is, by way of his adultery, the current record holder for most expensive divorce of all time.

Rock snot sticks to your shoes and spreads easily, so you need to check very closely. With similar vigilance, Pennsylvanians need to pay special attention to these fossil fools because they plan to expand fracking in the Marcellus Shale, big time.

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The Year Of The Ban – 2014

December 28, 2014

Fracking Bans Sweep Across North America, And That Was Just The Month Of December

A steady uptick in citizen activism, and a broadening awareness of hydraulic fracturing’s negative impact on everything from climate to wildlife to water, resulted in successful anti-fracking measures on ballots across North America in 2014. Then, in mid-December, the state of New York banned it. They’re not the first, Vermont holds that distinction, yet they are the first state with significant shale gas reserves to do so. People are pumped.

Naturally, the issue is emotionally charged. Shale gas development not only damages land, air and water, it destroys people’s lives. Fracking promises to be a factor in the upcoming 2016 Presidential race. Let’s make of sure of it.

Despite customarily downplaying the successes of the anti-fracking movement in the media, activists across the county have racked up a handful of amazing, longshot victories. Fracking bans were won, far and wide, and they can be found in the unlikeliest places.

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There’s No Replacin’ A River Basin

November 26, 2013

It’s Time To Save The Delaware River From Fracking, For Good

Food & Water Watch wants you to know that the Special Protection Waters of the Delaware River Basin are more endangered than ever.

For the past two years, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) has upheld a moratorium on fracking in the Delaware River Basin due to massive public outcry. But right now, Carol Collier is calling for a strategy around gas drilling in the basin before she retires as executive director in March. Join us by telling President Obama and the governors of NY, NJ, DE and PA that the only strategy we support is a ban on fracking!

Gas drillers want in. They want to produce and transport, and to frack, baby, frack. DRBC’s Collier has indicated that she intends bring a new drilling “strategy” to a vote before departing her post. It may be her idea of a legacy, though I certainly wouldn’t want all those undisclosed chemicals on my conscience.

President Obama – the man who campaigned on a pledge for a sustainable energy future yet now favors the term “energy independence” – may well deliver the deciding vote on the DRBC via the federal Army Corps of Engineers. Conscience, per se, probably won’t factor much into that decision.

As ever, the only way to protect the Delaware River Basin from the massive impacts of shale gas industrialization is with massive pubic outcry.

Permanent Protection 

Start by adding your name to the the growing list of Americans who oppose expanding our dependence on fossil fuels, along with any plans to allow shale gas drilling the Delaware River Basin. Sign the Food and Water Watch letter addressed to President Obama and the governors of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, Protect the Delaware River Basin With a Ban on Fracking

Let legislators know that the only long-term strategy for protecting the Delaware River Basin is a permanent ban on fracking.   (more…)

What’s It Gonna Be, DRBC?

November 1, 2013

Deciding The Fate Of “The Little Giant”

Outgoing Delaware River Basin Commission Director, Carol Collier, has done an impressive job withstanding extreme political pressure. I’ve been highly critical of the DRBC, yet I do believe Collier deserves our gratitude – as long as she doesn’t do anything rash.

The small interstate agency has received sharp letters of admonition from an impatient, gas-happy governor, experienced even sharper budget cuts, and suffered an uneasy tension with an increasingly feckless PA DEP.  By July, 2013, the working relationship between the two agencies had deteriorated so badly that former DEP secretary, and current gubernatorial candidate, John Hanger informed readers of The Times-Tribune that “DRBC Should Have ‘No Confidence’ In Corbett’s Drilling Oversight.

It’s true, DRBC has approved too many pipelines.  In March 2013, Maya van Rossum, The Delaware Riverkeeper pressed the Commission on the need for greater oversight of planned projects. Deforestation and watershed fragmentation are growing concerns, as are leaks, ruptures and explosions.

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But generally speaking, under Collier’s leadership, DRBC has stood firm in the face the mighty gas extraction lobby, and it has managed to keep them at bay, and protect our vital, shared fresh water resources all this while. For this, we owe Collier our thanks. She must be exhausted.

Carol Collier, DRBC  Credit:  www.nj.gov

At this point, it seems unlikely that Collier, who departs in March, 2014, will rally a vote on gas drilling regulations in the Delaware River basin, but one never knows. All you can do is check the DRBC website from time to time.

Taking the long view, however, has been a hallmark of Collier’s tenure. Meetings are long and tedious, populated by scientists and engineers, and packed with data. Collier has led the agency along this plodding, empirical course for the past 15 years, so there’s little reason to suspect she’s planning to suddenly go out with a bang.   (more…)

Drillers Still Drooling Over The Delaware

June 24, 2013

Can A Watershed Get A Little Respect?

[Updated]

Few headlines instill more angst among Delaware River watershed activists than the one I read this morning:

Wayne County Commissioners Urge Quick End To Drilling Ban by Steve McConnell, The Times-Tribune, June 22, 2013

Who are these people? And why do they think they have the right to force a heavily industrial deep shale extraction process into a highly protected watershed which supplies drinking water to 17 million people from New York City to Wilmington, Delaware? It would seem this handful of county commissioners is ready to risk it all, for roughly 5% of the U.S. population, while shushing valid environmental concerns with the vague promise of jobs. Who’s gonna want the jobs if you can’t drink the water?

Tell DRBC: Pennsylvania’s Last Frack-Free Watershed Deserves A Permanent Ban!
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DRBC: The Delaware River BS Commission

December 11, 2012

[Updated: December 13, 2012]

Science Has No Agenda, Right?

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) is the only governing body standing between fracking pollution and the fresh drinking water for 15.6 million people living in the Mid-Atlantic megapolis – a full 5% of the US population. So what is the DRBC doing to protect this precious, highly productive watershed from volatile shale gas pipelines and extreme fossil fuel extraction? Lately, not much.

The DRBC is an interstate commission, which is not a common thing. It’s comprised of the governors of PA, NY, NJ and DE (or their representatives), plus a representative of the Federal Government from The Army Corps of Engineers. It was created because the citizens in these states deemed the protection of their shared freshwater resources important enough to warrant utmost oversight and protection. That was 1961.

Today, DRBC commissioners act like children with mouths full of candy. It’s difficult to get a straight answer out of them, even at their own public meetings.   (more…)

Pennsylvania’s Fracking Governor

June 15, 2012

What Did The Delaware River Ever Do To Tommy Corbett?

PA Governor Tom Corbett wants to drill the iconic Delaware River Watershed… Y’know, the river George Washington crossed to win American independence, the river that currently sustains 15.6 million people and countless species, the river that already generates $22 BILLION for the Pennsylvania economy each year, according to the University of Delaware. Our guv’na is the poster child for greed, corruption and neo-con ignorance. He looks (and acts) like a stupid frat boy, yet when it comes to shale gas, he’s devious as all hell. It’s like he’s date-raping every river, meadow, forest and mountain in the state.

Tim Darragh gets us up-to-speed on the behind the scenes machinations of Patrick Henderson, Corbett’s state-funded Energy Executive, in Pennsylvania Lobbying for DRBC Fracking Rules in The Allentown Morning Call:

“‘That’s been a frustration since the November meeting was canceled,” said Corbett spokesman Patrick Henderson. ‘We have been having discussions with the DRBC staff as recently as this week’ ” (more…)

Defunding & Defeating The Delaware River Basin Commission

March 8, 2012

In case you missed it on Philly.com…

Financial woes shake the DRBC
3 of the 5 commission members have either shrunk payments or stopped paying

by Sandy Bauers

“One Chance” To Get Gas Right Says PA DEP Chief

January 12, 2012

On Tuesday evening, January 10, 2012 the PA Department of Environmental Protection Secretary, Michael Krancer, once again put the onus on gas companies to protect our land, air and water. The secretary was speaking at Villanova University, at a presentation organized by PA Association of Environmental Professionals and The Pennsylvania Environmental Council, and facilitated by Burack Environmental Law.

To the strident observer, it’s stunning how much faith Secretary Krancer places in the corporate good intentions of shale gas drillers. It’s as if he’s incognizant of the industry’s shoddy track record in Pennsylvania, and how they wracked up a whopping 1.8 average violations per inspection in 2011. (more…)

DRBC Cancels Controversial Nov 21 Vote on Gas Drilling Regulations

November 18, 2011

In what is being hailed as a BIG WIN FOR THE DELAWARE RIVER WATERSHED, The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) has cancelled, or postponed, its scheduled November 21st meeting in which the commission was to vote on opening the Delaware River Watershed to industrial shale gas drilling. THE MORATORIUM STANDS! It’s a victory for the nearly 74,000 people who petitioned the DRBC not to frack in the river basin. The watershed protection coalition’s news release is bounding across the internet this morning. (more…)

73,910 Signatures and Counting…

November 15, 2011

At a press conference Monday, November 14, outside the offices of The US Army Corps of Engineers in Center City Philadelphia, a group of the Delaware River’s biggest proponents announced that among them they have a record-breaking 73,910 signatures on letters and petitions to the voting members of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) urging them NOT to open the basin to industrial shale gas drilling at their upcoming meeting on November 21, 2011. (more…)

Occupy DRBC! Filmmaker Josh Fox Urges Peaceful Protest on November 21

November 10, 2011

Josh Fox, whose Oscar-nominated documentary Gasland inspired a global movement, is calling all water activists to stand up to and say NO! to Fracking in the Delaware River Basin on Monday, November 21, 2011 in Trenton, NJ. The rally begins at 8am at The Patriots Theater, 1 Memorial Drive, Trenton, NJ, where the next Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) meeting is to be held. If the commission votes to enact its new draft regulations for industrial gas drilling, the Delaware River Watershed, source of drinking water for 15.6 million people, will be immediately be open to 300 new frack wells, with many more to follow 18 months later. Fox has his detractors, even in the mainstream media, but a Gasland sequel is reportedly in the works with HBO, and there’s buzz over a possible trilogy. I’m a card-carrying fan. This Vimeo clip features Fox’s most recent call-to-action. (more…)

Save The Delaware, Seriously

October 5, 2011

UPDATE: The DRBC announced today that it will postpone the October 21 meeting date to vote on the new gas regulations. The meeting is now scheduled for November 21, 2011.

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ORIGINAL POST: The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) will vote on October 21, 2011 whether to open the “Special Protection Waters” of The Upper Delaware to industrial shale gas drilling. If new DRBC regulations are passed, the current moratorium on hydraulic fracturing will come to an end, and fracking will begin in earnest in the Delaware River watershed region. (more…)

DRBC Set to Vote on Fate of The Delaware

September 27, 2011

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) is the only government entity standing between industrial shale gas drilling in the “Special Protection Waters” of the Delaware River watershed region and the 15.6 million people living downstream in Southeastern PA who rely on this river for drinking water. In September, the DRBC held its final public hearing on the issue of rules for horizontal hydraulic fracturing in the Delaware Basin in West Trenton, NJ. At least they held it, right? The hearing was called for 1:30pm, but Food & Water Watch, Protecting Our Waters, and other water action groups had a protest going by noon. The upshot: The DRBC is currently scheduled to vote on whether to allow fracking in the Delaware River Basin on November 21, 2011. (more…)

DRBC Tables Permit for Major XTO Water Withdrawal from The Upper Delaware – For Now

May 6, 2011

Update: Encouragingly, the DRBC voted to table the permit until further hearings! Victory – Our Voices Really Do Add Up!! Congratulations to the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Protecting Our Waters, PennEnvironment and all the other groups whose vigilance and hard work hard paid off. More on this important issue to follow.

XTO Energy, Inc., a gas subsidiary of ExxonMobile Corp., would like to pull 250,000 gallons of water PER DAY from the ecologically sensitive cold water flows of the Upper Delaware River Region in Oquaga and Broome Counties, NY for hydraulic fracturing. That’s 100 million gallons A YEAR, for free. The ensuing environmental impact to nature and wildlife in this widely used recreation area would be indelibly damaged.

If the DRBC approves this permit, they will be acting in contradiction to their own mandate. (more…)

Gas Drillers Sweet On Upper Delaware Region, Origin of Lower Merion Drinking Water

May 5, 2011

Our watershed, in the upper reaches of the Delaware River, is home to the highest concentration of gas drilling sweet spots in the Marcellus Shale. Geologists at Penn State call it “the fairway.” It means drillers have a far greater chance of striking a large, shallow methane deposit. To date, 895 wells have been fracked in Northeastern and North Central Pennsylvania, with the heaviest drilling occurring in Bradford, Tioga, Susquehanna and Wyoming counties. Drilling closest to Philadelphia is occurring in Lucerne and Columbia counties. Those in denial about the dangers of fracking refer to this part of Pennsylvania as “up there.”

In December 2010, 2,083 permits were pending approval in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Since January 2011, the PA DEP has approved 956 permits. A large majority of the new wells are in the Upper Delaware River Watershed Region.

A remarkable pace, indeed! In fact, by their own estimate, PA DEP spends a scant 32 minutes on average deliberating each permit, not a lot of time to access environmental impacts.

According to EarthJustice.org’s “Fraccidents Map”, there were over 1,200 violations in Pennsylvania in 2010. That’s many, many times more accidents than all other states in the US combined. (more…)

Record Number of Letters Delivered to the DRBC

April 16, 2011

Over 35,000 letters were delivered by Environmental and Citizen Action Groups who are opposed to Fracking in the Delaware River Watershed. That number greatly exceeds any Public Comment Period in the Delaware River Basin Commission’s history. I, for one, am holding my breath to see what happens next.