Regulators set to vote on Delaware River gas drilling ban

Written by The Associated Press | Sep 13, 2017 1:35 AM

The Delaware River on the Pennsylvania side at the Delaware Water Gap. The Delaware River Basin Commission plans to propose a permanent ban on fracking. (Catalina Jaramillo/StateImpact Pennsylvania)

(Newtown) -- A regulatory commission that oversees water quality in the Delaware River and its tributaries is set to consider a permanent ban on natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

The five-member Delaware River Basin Commission is scheduled to meet today outside Philadelphia. Its agenda includes a measure that would begin the lengthy process of enacting a formal ban on drilling and fracking, the technique that's spurred a U.S. production boom in shale gas and oil.

The resolution before the basin commission says that fracking "presents risks, vulnerabilities and impacts to surface and ground water resources across the country."

Environmental groups are upset by a provision that would apparently allow drillers to discharge fracking wastewater in the watershed "where permitted."

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

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