New Lawsuit Filed in NY Federal Court Attempts to Delay/Prevent Gas Drilling in the Delaware River Basin

lawsuitThose opposed to Marcellus drilling in New York and Pennsylvania continue to use the court system in an attempt to either delay or outright ban drilling. The latest instance came just yesterday with a lawsuit filed in federal court in New York:

Environmental groups filed a lawsuit Thursday in New York City to force federal officials to conduct an environmental review before issuing final regulations on natural gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin because of concerns over the method used to remove the gas.

The lawsuit asks a federal court in Brooklyn to find that the Delaware River Basin Commission and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated federal requirements by not doing the review and to order them to conduct one.

The suit follows a similar one filed earlier this year by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

The Delaware River Basin provides drinking water to millions of people, including New York City residents. About a third of the basin sits on top of the Marcellus Shale, a natural gas reserve underneath several states.

The commission imposed a moratorium on drilling in its part of the formation while it works on regulations. Meanwhile, energy companies have leased thousands of acres of land in the basin, and the commission has released draft regulations.

"We have the regulator going ahead with rules without having clearly assessed the potential for those rules," said Susan Kraham, an attorney representing the National Parks Conservation Association, one of the plaintiffs.

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Riverkeeper, and the Delaware and Hudson Riverkeepers are also plaintiffs. Kraham said the lawsuit might be consolidated with the attorney general’s.

The suit names the commission and the Army Corps as defendants. DRBC spokesman Clarke Rupert said the commission would review the suit before commenting.*

As referenced, New York’s AG Eric Schneiderman is also trying this approach. But just a few days ago the federal government filed a brief with the very same court in Brooklyn asking that his case be dismissed because the AG does not have the legal right to sue a federal agency (see MDN story here).

This latest lawsuit, if successful, would prevent drilling in not only New York State, but also in parts of northeastern Pennsylvania that sit in the Delaware River Basin.

*The Boston Globe/AP (Aug 4, 2011) – Environment groups file suit over gas regulations

  • Anonymous

    Here we go again wealthy tree huggers blocking progress in a time of a near second depression, out of control unemployment.You all might want to watch the stock market those fortunes are shrinking by the day.If the federal and State Governments get on the same page we may be able to crawl out of this economic hole we are in. It cant be stopped at this point to much gold in them thar hills. Drill baby Drill!!

  • Anonymous

    Such a waste of good money!! Wouldn’t  that money be better spent helping the homeless or given to a popular charity. You tree huggers can even have a black tie cocktail party to make sure everyone knows you gave the money and possibly get a humanitarian plaque.Its a shame that you all can not see the bigger picture. Job creation, taxes collected, Hotels filled, Food establishments     ringing their cash registers, ETC. The areas that this “Natural” resource has been found has had  negative economic growth, people are losing their farms and homes. With the proper DEC supervision( more jobs) and the already tight drilling regulations this Natural Gas find can heat your mansions and run your Mercedes Benz’s for 1/2 the price of foreign oil. Then you can let us work to feed our families, and with all the savings you reap stay an extra month in Europe, and fight to save an extinct bat over there.

  • Anonymous

    I can understand the concern regarding the chemicals used in Hydrofracking-I can understand the concern with the amount of water used for the drilling and the waste created from it; I believe those who are against the drilling should put all that energy into trying to find another way to drill-perhaps a safer way.  Better yet, suggest gas companies set up a “fund” prior to their drilling that can be used in case of “accidents”.  IF there are no accidents, they get the money returned to them.  If there is one, the initial “clean-up” is taken from the “fund”.  If the amount put into it is large enough it may force the gas companies to take better precautions.  But to stop drilling completely is simply ludicrous!  What I don’t understand is all those who are against it how they heat their homes, drive their vehicles, cook their food?
    In a perfect world there would be no pollution, poverty, joblessness, wars, ozone etc.  Drilling is inevitable.  

  • Anonymous

    Its fascinating that animal worshippers betray no trace of cognitive function.  What part of “There has never been fracking contamination of water wells” continues to elude them.