Environmental Groups Oppose Regulatory Changes That Would Imperil the Delaware River Watershed

These groups want the Delaware River Basin Commission to ban fracking wastewater imports and water exports for fracking.
Photo courtesy of @DelRiverkeeper.

A coalition of environmental groups from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware issued a press release Tuesday calling on the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to vote for a complete ban on fracking wastewater imports and the export of water from the Delaware River Watershed for fracking at their December 7 business meeting.

Fracking and its toxic byproducts – including contaminated water – are well known to have disastrous effects on human health and long-lasting, irreparable environmental devastation.

“DRBC has posted that a resolution to amend the regulations will be considered at the December 7 public meeting. The wording of the resolution has not been disclosed, setting watershed communities on edge,” reads the coalition’s joint press release.

The Delaware Riverkeeper, Food and Water Watch, Clean Water Action, Berks Gas Truth, Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, Catskill Mountainkeeper, and the League of Women Voters Delaware are just some of the organizations seeking to protect the Delaware River Watershed that directly impacts residents and the environment in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.“Revise the proposed fracking regulations to ban the import of wastewater produced by fracking and ban the export of water from our watershed that would fuel fracking in other watersheds,” is the message that was sent by the public via fax, email and social media postings to the offices of the four governors in states directly impacted by the proposed regulatory changes.

In February, 2021 the DRBC permanently banned fracking throughout the watershed after a decade of intense advocacy invested by private citizens and a large coalition of associations.

“This success must now be followed by a second step: to protect the Delaware River Watershed and the water supply for up to 17 million people, we must stop pollution caused by importing fracking wastewater and stop depletion of our water through exporting water for fracking in other watersheds,” writes the Delaware River Frack Ban Coalition.

The Delaware River is the longest undammed river east of the Mississippi. Originating in Catskill, New York, it travels 330 miles and traverses four states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. It is the primary water source for more than 17 million people and, for decades, has been the chief drinking water source for New York City and the greater Philadelphia area.

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Jenny Stephens

Jenny Stephens is a freelance journalist who has written for a variety of publications, including The Reporter. An avid collector of all things vintage, she resides in the Philadelphia area.

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