Delaware Commission Delays Permit for Frack Water Withdrawal

natural gas flare

The fight continues for America’s Most Endangered River of 2010, the Upper Delaware.  Yesterday, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) unanimously voted to postpone a decision on a water withdrawal permit for fracking in the Marcellus Shale.  The permit was proposed by XTO Energy, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil.  DRBC had received 7100 emails and another couple hundred letters (as of last night) asking them to delay this decision and allow time for additional public comment.  DRBC will keep the public record open from now through to a public hearing to be held in the Broome County, NY region within 30 days (date and location to be determined).

DRBC is developing natural gas regulations and is not issuing any drilling permits in the meantime.  Therefore, XTO has no need for the water at the moment. 

“People rallied to stop ExxonMobil’s water grab and to protect Oquaga Creek, a beautiful trout stream in the headwaters of the Delaware River.  The Commission members heard the peoples’ voice and relented, tabling action on the proposed permit.  This is what the public can do when they organize with a unified voice.  Thank you to all who spoke up,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper.

Thanks to all of you who sent emails letting DRBC know how important this was to you!  Keep them on their toes!