Energy & Environment

Fracking banned in Delaware River Basin


Fracking was banned in the Delaware River Basin on Thursday after a group of regional governors voted to prohibit the practice across the basin’s more than 13,000 square miles of land.

A resolution passed by the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), made up of the governors of New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey as well as the North Atlantic division engineer of the Army Corps of Engineers, banned hydraulic fracking throughout the Basin, which includes land across the four states.

Text of the resolution passed Thursday argued that fracking “presents risks, vulnerabilities and impacts to surface and ground water resources in the Delaware River Basin.”

The Delaware River is a major waterway along the east coast originating in New York’s Catskill Mountains and spilling into the Atlantic in the Delaware Bay, which borders Delaware and New Jersey. The basin is connected to drinking water for roughly 13 million people.

“This collaborative multi-state [and federal] action through the DRBC also complements the goals of the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act, a bill I introduced and which was passed by Congress in 2016, by helping to ensure that the watershed and water resources of the Basin will be protected from these potential sources of pollution,” said Delaware Gov. John Carney (D), who chairs the commission.

“More than 13 million people rely on the waters of a clean Delaware River Basin that is free of the chemicals used in fracking. Our actions, including the further rulemaking outlined today to address fracking wastewater, will protect public health and preserve our water resources for future generations,” added Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D).

The decision is a major victory for environmental activists in the region, including the Sierra Club, which called it a “historic watershed moment and one that will significantly contribute to a clean energy future.”

Tags Andrew Cuomo fracking John Carney Phil Murphy Tom Wolf

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