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March 07, 2012

Against Clean Water and for Fracking in Pennsylvania?

PA drill site2webThis week Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s administration announced it is withholding funds from the Delaware River Basin Commission.  At the same time the DRBC is not allowing natural gas fracking, something Governor Corbett frequently pushes for.

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) is an organization formed by four states (including Pennsylvania) and the federal government to manage water resources in the Delaware River Watershed. The watershed provides water for over 15 million people living in New York City, Philadelphia and its suburbs, and many other communities.

Meanwhile Governor Corbett and Pennsylvania continue to fund the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, which allows a significant amount of water to be withdrawn for natural gas drilling. From the Philly.com article:

The governor went lighter with cuts to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, which has been issuing permits for water withdrawals related to natural gas drilling. It was cut by only 10 percent.

The DRBC has been at a stalemate about whether to approve fracking for natural gas in the basin. The fracking cannot occur without using millions of gallons of water, which DRBC controls.

Until Governor Corbett and Pennsylvania pay their fair share to the DRBC, it should stop processing applications for all new water withdrawal permits across the state.  The DRBC has an important role protecting the drinking water for millions; and just because Governor Corbett didn’t get his way, doesn’t mean he can withhold funds  and prevent them from doing their job. 

You can help keep fracking out of the Delaware Basin.   At any moment, the DRBC can call a vote to approve a final set of rules that would allow natural gas development and destruction in the Delaware River Basin. Right now, these rules fail to guarantee protection for those who live downstream, putting millions at risk.

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. For that reason, we need you to tell them to vote no on these weak proposed regulations.

Make a call to your governor and the Army Corps of Engineers to tell them to reject the proposed fracking regulations for the Delaware River Basin, and that Pennsylvania should pay up!

-- Deb Nardone, Director of the Sierra Club Natural Gas Reform Campaign

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