DRBC Releases New Shale Gas Drilling Rules, Votes Nov 21

new rulesThe 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.

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Ballot Measure to Ban Fracking in Peters Twp PA Fails Big

Looks like it was only a tiny minority of vocal people who wanted a complete ban on gas drilling in Peters Township (Washington County), PA after all. The measure was put on the ballot over the objections of the town council who believe it would have brought a costly lawsuit from drilling companies. The question of whether or not the measure would appear on the November ballot went to court and a judge allowed it to go forward (see this MDN story). The ballot measure includes language that the township has “the right to a sustainable energy future.” Not sure what planet those folks live on!

So the measure was on the ballot yesterday and the results are in:

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