Governor Paterson's ordering a delay of horizontal hydrofracking in New York State was good news indeed. Unfortunately, the threat of fracking, this time in the Delaware River Basin, still hangs over New York.
On December 9, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) published notice of proposed regulations that would allow hydrofracking in the Delaware River Basin. The DRBC is the federal/interstate government agency responsible for managing the water resources within an approximately 13,000 square miles Delaware River Basin. This watershed provides drinking water to up to 17 million people living in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey
and New York.
By permitting fracking, the DRBC's proposed regulations would pave the way for "this toxic and dangerous gas drilling process to begin in this incredibly sensitive watershed. DRBC issued its draft drilling regulations despite an overwhelming opposition from the public including letters from Governor Paterson, Mayor Bloomberg and New York Congressman Hinchey requesting that draft regulations not be released until a planned cumulative impact study and the EPA study can be completed. This is of major concern to New Yorkers because sections of the Delaware River Basin are part of the New York City Watershed. Hydraulic fracturing could start in the Delaware River Basin regardless of what we may achieve working with the New York State government," says United for Action.
The DRBC's 90-day public comment period will end on March 16, 2011. For more information on the proposal and to submit comments, see the DRBC website.
photo of Delaware River by Steve Guttman NYC on flickr