Commission protects Delaware River from fracking

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John Rumpler

Clean Water Director and Senior Attorney, Environment America

John Rumpler

Clean Water Director and Senior Attorney, Environment America

Decision protects drinking water source for 15 million from dirty drilling

Environment America

PHILADELPHIA – The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), a regional multi-state agency, finalized its policy banning fracking within the Delaware River watershed Thursday morning. The decision comes after years of well-documented fracking pollution in Pennsylvania, and a multi-year public input process.

“The Delaware River is one of America’s most treasured waterways,” said Environment America Clean Water Program Director John Rumpler. “The watershed provides drinking water for more than 15 million people, and a home for wildlife, scenic views and opportunities for fishing, swimming and hiking. We thank all four governors on the commission for voting to keep this special river safe from dirty drilling.”

For more than a decade, Environment America’s state organizations in the region joined other groups in presenting the DRBC with documentation of fracking threats to clean water. The commission responded by proposing a ban on fracking, which thousands of people from across the region supported. Today, the DRBC finalized its prohibition on dirty drilling.

“Over the last decade, one thing has become crystal clear — the fracking industry is either unable or unwilling to comply with basic, common sense environmental safeguards,” observed David Masur, executive director of PennEnvironment. “They chronically pollute, put our environment and health at risk, and even break the law. When the DRBC unveiled their proposal, tens of thousands of people spoke up in support of a fracking ban. We thank the DRBC for listening to Pennsylvanians who know what is best for the commonwealth’s people and natural spaces.”

Apart from fracking itself, advocates have also been concerned about toxic waste from the process and water withdrawals as threats to the Delaware River basin.

“This is a great day for the Delaware River and our precious drinking water, and we thank Gov. Phil Murphy, who called for this action more than two years ago,” said Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey. “We look forward to working with the DBRC on whatever further steps are needed to protect the Delaware from all drilling-related activities.”

staff | TPIN

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