The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) yesterday released a final version of new shale gas drilling regulations (copy embedded below). A vote will be taken on Nov. 21st to adopt the new regulations. So far, no Marcellus Shale gas wells have been drilled in the areas covered by the jurisdiction of the DRBC which includes large portions of Pennsylvania and New York, in addition to Delaware and New Jersey. Of those states, only PA has allowed gas drilling to date. The DRBC is a quasi-governmental body charged with protecting the environmental “health” of the Delaware River and its tributaries.
There has been an ongoing battle to allow drilling in the DRBC’s jurisdiction, which culminated in a series of public hearings in February of this year. The comments received at those hearings, and via email and post, were analyzed and some of the feedback incorporated into the newest version of regulations just released. If the new regulations are approved at the Nov. 21st meeting and the years-long moratorium is lifted, only maximum of 300 gas wells will be allowed until the DRBC reviews the effectiveness of the regulations and votes to allow further drilling.