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December 04, 2016
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River panel okays basin commission funding support

The Delaware River Basin Commission spokesman Kenneth Najjar, left, reported Thursday that work on the commission’s long awaited natural gas drilling fracking regulations is ongoing. Also pictured is Upper Delaware National Park Service Superintendent Sean McGuinness.
Contributed photo

The only related discussion about DRBC regulations came from DRBC spokesman Kenneth Najjar, who recalled that 69,000 comments were received on the two draft rules released in 2010. The commissioners have not acted since then, and Najjar said “discussion among the parties continues.”

Najjar went on the report that “a lot has happened in the past several years,” regarding the science involved in preparing regulations and “the regulations are not done yet.”

“The goal is this year,” he said. “The question is, how much regulation.”

The UDC letter supporting the Water Resources Development Act of 2013, which has already passed in the U.S. Senate, was approved by the council without opposition.

Peckham abstained from the vote.

In other business, the UDC named Al Henry to serve as Secretary-Treasurer to replace Niflot.

They also approved an application to join U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson’s (R-NY) newly formed watershed advisory council and a follow-up letter to the contractor of two proposed cell towers in Damascus, again requesting a balloon test to determine their visibility from the river corridor.

Noting that past public opposition to cell towers has changed with increased usage of cell phones, National Park Service Superintendent Sean McGuinness said, “we don’t want to keep the towers out. We all want service, but do it in a way that they are not so visible.”

[See this week’s editorial.]