According to an AP Source article from the Daily News, a proposal developed by the Delaware River Basin Commission, a regulatory body with representatives from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and the federal government, can turn a seven-year temporary hold on natural gas development near the Delaware River into a permanent ban. The vote to begin the process of enacting this formal ban could occur as early as next week.
The temporary ban on drilling and fracking was imposed through the basin commission, which regulates water quality and quantity in Delaware, in 2010 to allow time to develop regulations for the gas industry. The main focus for this ban was on two counties in Pennsylvania’s northeastern tip that are part of the nation’s largest gas field, the Marcellus Shale. More than 10,000 Marcellus wells have been drilled in other parts of Pennsylvania, but the industry has been blocked from developing its acreage in the Delaware watershed, which supplies Philadelphia and half of New York City with drinking water.
Environmental groups have opposed the drilling near the Delaware, citing possible contamination of drinking water supplies and renowned fisheries, and have hailed this latest development to move to a permanent ban. Meanwhile, industry officials express concern about the impact this ban will have on working families, the economy and the environment.
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