Shutting out Public from Gas Drilling Decisions, press release from environmental groups
“The Delaware River is as clean as it is today in part because of the Basin Commission's hard work over many decades - and in part because of citizen involvement demanding that the Basin and the River flow into the future as a clean and healthy sustainer of life. Why would the Basin Commission endanger the River, the public today, and the future by approving gas drilling regulations they admit should be informed by a study of cumulative impacts when this study has not been done and the public is being removed from the process?” said Barbara Arrindell, Director of Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, PA.
The voting members of the DRBC - Governor Andrew Cuomo (NY), Governor Chris Christie (NJ), Governor Jack Markell (DE), and Governor Tom Corbett (PA), as the Governors of the four states that drain to the Delaware River and Colonel Christopher Larsen of the US Army Corps of Engineers, the federal representative - have been receiving a barrage of letters and phone calls over the past two months since the November 21 meeting was set, including a virtual march on the DRBC through social media and call-in days to voting members’ offices. President Barack Obama as the elected federal official has also been receiving the communications. Several hundred people are expected to attend the DRBC Meeting to protest DRBC’s consideration of the commencement of gas drilling, traveling from throughout the 13,000 square mile basin, including buses from as far as 5 hours away.
Public debate has raged over the past 3 years in the Watershed due to the environmental impacts of gas drilling where it is occurring and continuing revelations that drilling and fracking is not safe and is causing hundreds of pollution incidents. The DRBC has not done comprehensive environmental analyses to assess the immediate and cumulative impacts of natural gas development on the water resources of the Delaware River Basin, water supply for over 15 million people, including New York City, Philadelphia and large populations in all four watershed states, jeopardizing this sole source of water.
Signing groups: Catskill Mountainkeeper, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, Environment New Jersey, Hudson Riverkeeper, NJ Environmental Federation, New Jersey Sierra Club, NYH2O