Fracking Put On Hold In Delaware River Basin

A decision by the Delware River Basin Commission to postpone a vote on regulations that could open the Delware River Basin to "fracking" for natural gas has been praised by the National Parks Conservation Association.

"The DRBC is legally required to complete an Environmental Impact Statement before moving forward with these regulations," said Cinda M. Waldbuesser, the senior program manager in NPCA's Pennsylvania Field Office. "It is also critical that we understand the environmental impacts that natural gas development could have on the air and water flowing through national parks along the Delaware River prior to allowing new and widespread natural gas development in the Basin.

“Collectively, the Delaware River park sites draw 5.4 million annual visitors--providing exceptional recreational opportunities and drinking water to more than 15 million people. One of the cleanest rivers in the country, the river is also home to enticing waterfalls and diverse wildlife that include bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and black bears.

“The regulations being considered by the DRBC do not adequately protect our pristine outdoor attractions like the Upper Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River, Middle Delaware National Scenic River and Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area that draw visitors from across the region and support the local economy. The anticipated 15,000 – 18,000 natural gas wells in the Delaware River Basin could seriously threaten human health, water quality and quantity, air quality, and wildlife.

“Conducting an environmental impact statement before allowing drilling in the basin is a critical and reasonable step toward ensuring that America’s national parks and water resources are preserved, while the domestic energy resources available in this region are carefully utilized.”