Ban all fracking activities in the Delaware River Basin
Fracking the Delaware River Basin could threaten the drinking water supply for five percent of the U.S. population – 15 million people.1 That's why CREDO members and our partners across the region have been pushing the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to permanently ban fracking in the river basin.
Now the DRBC has responded to grassroots pressure and proposed a fracking ban – but their draft rules would allow fracking wastewater to be imported, stored, processed and discharged into the Delaware River Watershed.2 The rules would also allow for Delaware River Watershed water to be exported out of the basin to fuel fracking elsewhere.
The DRBC's comment period on these proposed regulations ends in less than a week. To protect the health, economy and natural environment of communities all around the Delaware River Basin, the DRBC needs to permanently ban fracking and all related activities.
Tell the Delaware River Basin Commission: Ban fracking and related activities in the Delaware River Watershed, including wastewater dumping and using our water to enable fracking elsewhere.
Researchers studying the potential impacts of fracking in the Delaware River Basin reported alarming consequences. They found that if officials were to lift the current fracking moratorium, natural gas developers could create up to 4,000 new fracking wells.3 Running that many wells would require 18 to 26 square miles of land – the equivalent of building 840 Walmart Supercenters in the area.4 In Wayne County, Pennsylvania, which would likely see the most fracking wells, emissions of the air pollutant nitrogen oxide could threaten the health of up to 30,000 residents – 60 percent of the county’s population.5
Fracking the Delaware River Basin would also threaten the largest drinking water source in the Northeast corridor, a source which provides water to the largest metropolitan area in the U.S. (New York City) and the seventh-largest (Philadelphia).6 Each fracking well uses around 4.5 million gallons of water.7 In drought years, this intense water usage could reduce stream flows in the Delaware River Basin by up to 70 percent while potentially raising the amount of dangerous contaminants, like barium, 500 percent compared to background levels.8
Fortunately, the members of the DRBC have recognized that fracking the Delaware River Basin is a terrible idea. Unfortunately, they seem to think it's fine to discharge fracking wastewater into this unique region. They are also apparently willing to allow the exporting the huge volume of water needed to support fracking in someone else's backyard.
They need to hear loud and clear: No fracking-related activities in the Delaware River Basin are acceptable.
Tell the DRBC: Ban fracking and related activities in the Delaware River Watershed, including wastewater dumping and using our water to enable fracking elsewhere.
- Susan Phillips and Jon Hurdle, "Battle re-emerging over fracking along Delaware River," NPR State Impact, March 14, 2017.
- Maddy Lauria, "Fracking ban proposed for Delaware River basin," News Journal, Jan. 25, 2018.
- Natasha Geiling, “Study: Fracking In The Delaware River Basin Would Threaten Health Of 45,000,” Aug. 12, 2015.
- Gerald J. Kauffman, “Economic Value of Nature and Ecosystems in the Delaware River Basin, Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education," Aug. 31, 2016.
- Natasha Geiling, “Study: Fracking In The Delaware River Basin Would Threaten Health Of 45,000."