30.2 °F
December 04, 2016
River Reporter Facebook pageTRR TwitterRSS Search

Feds need to pay their promised share; Help keep our river clean

It is regrettable that the DRBC is not getting the respect it deserves, whether it is from the federal government, which has not kept its commitment for financial support, or other organizations, like the Northern Wayne Property Owners Association (NWPOA), a coalition of Wayne County landowners with natural gas fracking leases. The NWPOA has threatened to sue the DRBC for what it sees as failure to establish rules for fracking in a timely manner. What might happen with such a potential lawsuit is not clear now that two natural gas companies already have declared that they will not renew the leases of Wayne County leaseholders.

We believe that the moratorium was necessary and appropriate until all safety questions about fracking and its potential effect on water quality were answered. Furthermore, in our opinion, attacks on the staff of the DRBC are inappropriate—attacking the messenger instead of those who are in charge of the message. The real power of the DRBC rests with the governors of the four states and the federal government, represented on the commission by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The truth is that if those five powerful parties wanted and could agree on fracking regulations, the DRBC staff would have prepared them and there would be fracking regulations.

The UDC is right to stand by the DRBC and correctly states that the U.S. House of Representatives now has the opportunity to do the right thing by approving the federal government’s fair share of the funding necessary for this able body to continue its important work.

[For a news article about the UDC vote to support the DRBC, see story by David Hulse.]