Basin commission to vote on fracking ban near Delaware River

Written by Michael Rubinkam/Associated Press | Sep 11, 2017 5:01 PM

A drilling rig in Tioga State Forest. (Scott Detrow/ StateImpact Pennsylvania)

(Undated) -- A regulatory agency that monitors the drinking water supply of more than 15 million people is signaling that it will impose a permanent ban on natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing in the Delaware River watershed.

The Delaware River Basin Commission announced Monday that it will vote on a horizontal drilling and fracking resolution at its upcoming meeting near Philadelphia.

The resolution begins the lengthy process of enacting a formal ban. The resolution says that fracking "presents risks, vulnerabilities and impacts to surface and ground water resources across the country."

Environmental groups that have long pressed for a ban are upset, however, by provisions that would apparently allow drillers to discharge fracking wastewater in the watershed "where permitted."

The Associated Press reported last week that regulators planned to replace a seven-year moratorium on natural gas development with a permanent ban.

The Delaware watershed supplies Philadelphia and half of New York City with drinking water.

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