Delaware River Basin Commission Moves Toward Fracking Ban

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NEWTOWN, PA -- The Delaware River Basin Commission has voted to begin the process of implementing a ban on hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, in the river basin, including Wayne and Pike Counties.

The vote Wednesday morning was 3-1, with New Jersey abstaining, to adopt a resolution allowing the banning process to move forward.

Hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" is the process of using liquid to break up underground shale to extract natural gas.

With "yes" votes from the governors of New York, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, the resolution passed to start a process that could result in a permanent ban on fracking in Wayne and Pike Counties.

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) met at Bucks County Community College near Philadelphia and there were plenty of supporters of a ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for good.

"We want a total and complete and permanent ban on gas drilling and fracking and all its phases throughout the entire Delaware River watershed. We will settle for nothing less," said Tracy Carluccio, Delaware Riverkeeper Network.

The resolution also calls for rules the DRBC considers safe, allowing the disposal of fracking wastewater and transporting it within the Delaware River watershed. The river provides drinking water to 15 million people and has had a de facto moratorium on fracking for nearly a decade.

"All of it is vague," said James Barth of Berlin Township. "We don't know. Commenting is speculation as to whether or not it's just going to impact the drilling and fracking as opposed to waste, the withdrawal of water, and so forth."

Barth is from northern Wayne County and has spent years pushing for a permanent fracking ban, and like many here, will keep coming throughout the process.

The proposed regulations should be out by December followed by hearings and public comment.

The natural gas industry vehemently opposes such a ban while folks, including Barbara Arrindell of Damascus Township in Wayne County, want "all things fracking" banned.

"It's our home and it's your mandate to protect and preserve basin and resources for current and future residents, human and otherwise," Arrindell said.

This is only the beginning of what could be a long process, according to DRBC officials. Back when this process was started some years ago, it took 11 months before those draft regulations were tabled this time.

The commission will hold public hearings and take public comment leading up to the decision.

Executive Director Steve Tambini says he expects to vote on fracking regulations in 2018.


  • James Barth

    “Trucker”‘s information about Damascus Citizens (DCS) is incorrect. He should know better than to quote Tom Shepstone’s blog posts (whether old or new) as truth, when Tom constructs conspiracies on the level of the former Glenn Beck. Ms. Arrindell and her husband are landowners and primary residents of Wayne County, as am I, and she is the director of DCS. The DCS office has been located for years in a Narrowsburg NY (just across the bridge from Damascus Township, PA) storefront. Contrary to Shepstone’s portrayal, the only DCS relationship to the SoHo location was the office of the accountant who was then preparing the DCS IRS tax returns at no charge(?) to DCS. Also, one of the co-founders of DCS, an architect who has a house and 13 acres in Wayne (and pays more taxes than Mr. Shepstone according to the public tax records), is a partner in a company that has an office in that SoHo building. DCS is a true grass roots organization formed by property owners in Wayne (PA), Pike (PA) and Sullivan (NY) counties, within the Delaware River Basin. If you look at the IRS location for the past years, I believe it is a PO Box in Milanville, Damascus Township, PA.

    As for “Richie A”, the National Park Service has authority within the very narrow Delaware River Corridor only. It has no control or authority over the “area in general”. If you want to see Big Brother, you’ll have to go to FERC as they give away your property rights to the oil and gas industry for pipelines.

    As for David Tisano, DCS performed a study of the gas leases and public tax records for Damascus Township (a then hotbed of leasing) as of 2010/2011, and it showed that while 69% of the land surface of that Township was leased for drilling, only 32% of the unique owners of property leased their land, and they only formed 39% of the tax assessment for that Township. The overwhelming majority of property owners (the non lessor tax payers in the Township, “uneducated libtards” in your parlance?) were paying the overwhelming majority of the taxes for the area.

  • Richie A

    Here you have the have not’s telling the haves what they can or can’t do with their own property…how typical of the liberal mentality in America..the mistake the homeowners made was to allow the DRBC have the power it has and to allow the NPS to take control of the area in general…never trust big brother to protect your property rights!

  • trucker

    Barbara Arrindell of Damascus Township in Wayne County is not just “folks”. Google reveals she is Barbara Arrindell, Director of Damascus Citizens for Sustainability. “Who are the Damascus Citizens? Well, the entity that goes by the name is a non-profit corporation registered by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) charity. The official address on its tax return? 561 Broadway, New York City. That’s part of the trendy SoHo neighborhood (10012 zip code) — an “ultra-chic, ultra-luxe, and ultra-expensive” area 95 miles or so from Damascus – but worlds apart in other respects. The Census tract for the address the Damascus Citizens uses to report to the IRS had a median household income of $93,959 in 2010.”
    They also get funding from the Colcom Foundation, “a group obsessed with population growth.” Kudu’s to Tom Shepstone from Honesdale for his article at for the info and quote.
    Why was this presented as a “random person on the street”?

    • David Tisano

      This is So much Bull Crap. You people should have to pay our taxes, It’s my land and who are you to tell me what I can do with my land. I paid for it, Your all a bunch of uneducated Libtards ,

      • look in the mirror

        It’s your land until your use impact others. My sense if your ISIS neighbors wanted to build a Muslim Theme-park dedicated to their heros of 9/11 or a chemical plant wanted to open up operations next door which produces known carcinogenic waste that gets into your personal drinking water, you’d have a few things to say about how they use “their” land. Stop using the “Libtard” second-grade insults and get educated yourself. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts you haven’t read (or are in any way capable of reading) the chemistry of fracking. I have. And I will tell you that any society willing to put carcinogenic and toxic chemicals that render their drinking water non-potable just for a few bucks is absolutely insane.

  • Lance

    Who needs drinking water? The claim that will be made that it creates jobs so the ban will be bad. However, if anyone would notice alot of jobs are taken by guys from Texas and Louisiana. So that is total bs! Cabot and Chesapeake claim they care about the area with stupid commercials. The care about their bottom line.

  • Me

    I think the board will permanently ban fracking in this area. It’s a huge tourist area and important to the eco structure. No amount Money will not talk here.

  • Baiting you

    Money talks and you know BS walks. My prediction is there will be some big payoffs coming soon keep an eye on the bank accounts and the big favors !

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