Fight to Save the Delaware River

delaware river

The fight is on to protect one of our nation’s most beautiful and vital rivers, the Delaware.

Yesterday the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), a group made up of Governor Cuomo, Governor Corbett, Governor Christie, Governor Markell, and Colonel Christopher Larsen of the US Army Corps of Engineers, released a final set of rules that would allow natural gas development and destruction in the Delaware River Basin. The proposed rules do not take into account the devastating effects that massive water withdrawals, well-pad development, and hydraulic fracturing would have on the sensitive Delaware watershed — and, for that reason, the DRBC must not adopt them.

The Commission’s members have the opportunity to put the people first and stand up for clean water. The Delaware River, including its tributaries and groundwater, is the main source of drinking water and economic well-being for more than 15 million people. To allow a careless, under-regulated industry to drill into the watershed is foolish. Let me remind the DRBC that their legal mandate is to fully protect basin resources. Right now, these rules fail to guarantee protection for those who live downstream, putting millions at risk.

In addition to considering drilling into a major source of drinking water, the Commission has also failed to allow sufficient time for public comments. The public, which must live with the result of this decision for years to come, should be given enough time to ask questions and express their concerns before this final set of rules is adopted.  This public neglect is unacceptable and intolerable.

Upon yesterday’s news, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune agreed:

The Delaware River Basin Commission is putting fresh water for millions on the chopping block. By ignoring a clear call from the 15 million people who drink its fresh water and by putting the profits of big oil and natural gas first, the DRBC has failed. The natural gas industry’s path of destruction is clear, and the health of our environment and communities are continually being put at risk.  The Sierra Club urges the Delaware River Basin Commission to listen to its residents, hear their concerns, and not endanger one of our most precious sources of fresh water

In two weeks, the DRBC will vote on whether to adopt these rules — a vote that ultimately will decide the fate of the Delaware River watershed and the safe drinking water that it provides for more than 15 million people. I hope you will join me in standing up against the dirty practices of the natural gas industry and their reckless desire to drill for gas without concern for those they hurt. The Delaware River and those who rely on its fresh water need our help. The fight is on, let’s make our voices heard!

 Deb Nardone is the Sierra Club’s Natural Gas Reform Campaign Director. This post was originally published on the Sierra Club’s site and was reposted by request.

3 thoughts on “Fight to Save the Delaware River”

  1. As a retired planner who worked in 6 different counties in Pa., 3 of them as a planning director, I am appalled that this untested technology with unknown short and long term environmental and public health impacts is permitted at all. Until such time as the impacts are known, best practices identified to the satisfaction of all key constituencies, an independent regulatory system is established that emphasizes environmental protection over profit maximization, and a transparent reporting system is created all permit applications should be put on hold. If there is a true need for the gas produced by this process then before it is extracted the safest way possible to extract it should be mandated.

  2. Save the delaware river from toxic industrialization . . .

    OCCUPY : we have a brand name, a meme [ [ [ [ [ [ [ see richard brodie’s Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme — in the case of OCCUPY I can live with this virus as a virus counter to TEA-BAGGERS ] ] ] ] ] I am so glad OCCUPY people have awakened beyond the tea-baggers . . . who had their own kind of wake-up which i consider a form of people living at regular level, but voting for the power – structure, with which tea-baggers aligned thinking their rank and file would benefit PS TEA-BAGGERS got managed by the CROTCH BOTHERS— EAT YOUR HEART OUT RUSH…. YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN TWIST NICK NAMES – – — AND DICK ARMY . . . but tea-baggers are a form of the animus of regular people being turned in upon themselves as they are bamboozled by the power structure. Tea-baggers judge their target to be government, and their outrage has been appropriated by the privileged for the benefit of the privilege major issue — getting more of the money floating to the top of the class structure. Like this: the power people bundle deals for their own money benefit — bundle this with such culture war issues like abortion limitation ( a most strange and chthonic matter ), limiting marriage to male – female, thinking protection of environment protection is a danger to economics. THESE issues attract a strata of the people who end up voting for the hidden money issue along with the culture was issues. The power people get to appropriate the power of the regular people. I am not sure that the power people care as much for the culture war issues as they do for money floating to the top. So the power structure gets a segment of the rank and file to support this range of issues (the big “win” being money getting floated to the top of the social structure . . .

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