DRBC Members Admit Gas Drilling and Fracking Is Safe? What Gives?

PennFuture - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


Members of the DRBC considering a fracking ban have just admitted the gas drilling and fracking are safe. What kind of political chicanery is going on here?

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) is composed of five members consisting of the states of Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania plus the Federal government represented by the Army Corps of Engineers. The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (DRBC) is composed of four members consisting of the states of Maryland New York and Pennsylvania plus the Federal government represented by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The majority of both commissions consists of the same parties. What the SRBC knows, the DRBC knows and vice-versa. Moreover, they operate under virtually identical compacts. Both provide drinking water for millions. Yet, DRBC is pretending the threats to drinking water are so great that fracking must be banned, while the SRBC is admitting it is safe and has had no impact on water quality. Why is the DRBC lying?

DRBC Members

What I’m talking about is the recent DRBC resolution to consider a ban on fracking, which included this justification:

“the combination of hydraulic fracturing with horizontal drilling and related activities for extracting natural gas from tight shale formations presents risks, vulnerabilities and impacts to surface and ground water resources across the country”

Meanwhile, the DRBC members who sit on the SRBC just released the latest results of an extensive long-running water quality assessment on the Susquehanna River basin where they have allowed gas drilling and fracking for a decade. It says this:

“In 2010, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (Commission) established a real-time, continuous remote water quality monitoring network (RWQMN) to monitor headwater streams for potential impacts from unconventional natural gas drilling and other activities in the Basin. At the time, the natural gas industry was rapidly growing in the Basin and the majority of the activity was located near headwater streams where water quality data were scarce…

..the Commission’s remote water quality monitoring network has not detected discernible impacts on the quality of the Basin’s water resources as a result of natural gas development

This isn’t the first time these DRBC members saw these results, either. They’ve been getting the data every single year, as we reported here and here, for example. So why are these DRBC members lying? And, when I’m saying these DRBC members, I’m talking about the New York and Pennsylvania members; the appointed designees of the two governors who actually attend meetings and vote, that is to say Mark Klotz of New York DEC and Lisa Daniels of Pennsylvania DEP.

Surely they know of the SRBC water quality studies; there’s no way they cannot know as their states—their agencies—vote as members of the SRBC. Lisa Daniels, in fact, is the designated Pennsylvania alternate for both the DRBC and SRBC. For her to not know is impossible, yet her state voted for a resolution stating something in direct conflict with her experience and knowledge. How can this data be ignored?

It’s easy if your governor is a demagogue such as Andrew Cuomo or, in Pennsylvania’s case, Tom Wolf. Experience, knowledge, facts, laws, logic or science have zero to do with any decision. It’s all about political pandering to core constituent groups necessary to appease if you want to run for President or keep your office. Lisa Daniels and Mark Klotz only do what they’re told. That’s what’s going on here and why the SRBC data is being ignored.

The only remedy is to confront the lying DRBC members with what’s directly in front of their eyes and cannot be ignored; years of detailed data showing these same people when they wear their other hats as SRBC members have “not detected discernible impacts on the quality of the Basin’s water resources as a result of natural gas development.” Shove it in their faces by posting it on Facebook, tweeting it on Twitter (#NoMoreDRBCLies) and sharing it everywhere we can. Get busy! Tell those DRBC members to stop lying!

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14 thoughts on “DRBC Members Admit Gas Drilling and Fracking Is Safe? What Gives?

  1. Problem is underground natural gas storage is unsafe, so unsafe that aliso canyon leak and kansas explosion(killed two people) resulted in PIPES legislation.

    And of course the major issue of unfair compensation to landowners for underground storage on private property. the federal government, FERC, state governments and courts conspired with gas and pipeline companies to illegally take over private property for underground storage with little or ZERO compensation to landowners. huge violation of the 5th amendment.

    • Natural gas storage has little to do with Exploration and production. Storage is just that. Aliso Canyon leak resulted from the company and state ignoring industry recognized practices for storage fields and their maintenance. The Kansas explosion was not the result of a storage field but the gas from an idled and orphaned well. Get your Facts correct before you spout fake news.

      The compensation issue is a relative issue and could be addressed by the courts. It is frequently used by environmental nut jobs ( keep It in The Ground folks).

  2. Simple! It is NO SECRET that the US EPA backed down from New York City years ago and refused to mandate that NYC filter its drinking water. Every small community in Pennsylvania could not politically get a similar deal as NYC and filters their water.
    Deal–NYC does not have to filter the drinking water as long as it “protects the watershed”. EPA notified NYC that idf gas drilling occurred in the watershed, the city MUST filter its water at a cost of 11 BILLION dollars.

    Stop Fracking….stop 11 BILLION bucks to filter water!!!!!!

    For crying out loud–It is SIMPLE!

      • Sure it might come up every ten years, but so what? No one is ever going to make NYC pay 11 Billion bucks to filter their water. Deal is no filtration if NYC protects the watershed and EPA has told EPA if drilling occurs then filtration WILL be mandated!

        • What about the PCB all ready in the watershed and all the shipping on the NY Barge Canal.

          To have unprocessed. chlorinated and unfiltered water in this day of Herbicides and pesticides used on farm and forest lands is negligence per sea.
          PS wonder why NYC has High cancer rates

          • Sorry I was so blunt but I have been following the exploits of the watershed and NYC DEP for over 40 years and am actively involved in many of its aspects.

            At a recent meeting the Deputy Commissioner for the NYCDEP stated that they are starting to look at filtration systems.

            NYC is using more and more of the water in Delaware watershed to compensate from the turbidity occurring in the water from the Catskill watershed and they realize there are to many competing groups to continue the practice and will lead to a filtration requirement from the EPA.

  3. The SRBC said there are no “discernable impacts”….
    Investigate and contemplate that word, “discernable”…
    it has more depth to it than you give it.
    and SRBC is not saying that private water wells have
    not been impacted by gas development…which the DEP
    has verified discernable impacts to our water wells in Pa. from gas drilling and development…
    DRBC is not lying. They know of the impacts and are willing and ready to protect our water .
    We now discernable impacts to our water wells in western Pa. along pipeline development for the marcellus gas.
    Our water is more precious than the profits from the gas industry…can’t buy clean water and clean air.

    • Vera you are
      Only a
      Nut case
      Please go and never step foot in any area that can be beneficial to this country.
      I have seen you only promote a tainted view.

    • Discernable??? Such as what? Total Suspended solids? Big Deal! Run a log skidder on a hill side with the wrong geology and most downslope wells have muddy water. It does no harm and clears up soon after the earthmoving is done. Same thing with pipelines!

      Have any information? Or more of your BS?

  4. The problem is truth!
    Money and power is the only reason by the few self appointed are attempting to maintain control. Money in the hands of local people is a threat to those self appointed DRBC.

  5. First the DRBC doesn’t protect the drinking water for 15 million people, its more like 3-4 million. The DRBC has no authority in the NYC water shed and may only request emergency releases from the river master.

    The SRBC will be giving a presentation at the Upper Delaware Council at its Dec regular meeting, Dec 7@ 7:00pm

  6. Pingback: Robbery! DRBC Thieves Propose Grand Theft of LandNatural Gas Now

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