Credo Action

Ban fracking in the Delaware River Basin

Sign the petition

Sign the petition to Govs. John Carney, Chris Christie, Andrew Cuomo and Tom Wolf and Brigadier General William Graham of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

“Protect the Delaware River Basin permanently by banning natural gas drilling. We cannot gamble with our children and grandchildren’s drinking water.”

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    Ban fracking in the Delaware River Basin

    Fracking the Delaware River Basin could threaten the drinking water supply for 5 percent of the U.S. population – 15 million people.1 That’s why the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) imposed a moratorium on fracking in 2010 to protect the river basin while considering regulations.

    With Trump in the White House, the fracking moratorium could be under threat. Trump’s energy policies aggressively promote more domestic natural gas drilling, and his administration even has a voice on the commission. Along with the governors of the basin states – Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania – the DRCB includes a federal representative from the Army Corps of Engineers.

    We cannot afford to wait and see what might happen to the Delaware River Basin in the Trump era. To protect the health, economy and natural environment of communities all around the Delaware River Basin, the DRBC needs to permanently ban fracking.

    Tell the Delaware River Basin Commission: Ban fracking.

    Researchers studying the potential impact of fracking in the Delaware River Basin reported alarming consequences. They found that if officials were to lift the fracking moratorium, natural gas developers could create up to 4,000 new fracking wells.2 Running that many wells would require 18 to 26 square miles of land – the equivalent of building 840 Walmart Supercenters in the area.3 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.4

    Fracking the Delaware River Basin would threaten the largest drinking water source in the Northeast Corridor, a source that provides water to the largest and seventh-largest metropolitan areas in the United States (New York City and Philadelphia, respectively).5 Each fracking well uses around 4.5 million gallons of water.6 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.7

    There are signs that the DRBC may be moving to lift the moratorium. A public report in January revealed that DRBC officials met with staff from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection last year to discuss draft oil and gas regulations for the Delaware River Basin.8 But the health of the Delaware River Basin is too important to be decided behind closed doors. We need to tell the DRBC to ban fracking permanently – now.

    Tell the Delaware River Basin Commission: Ban fracking.

    References:

    1. Susan Phillips and Jon Hurdle, “Battle re-emerging over fracking along Delaware River,” NPR StateImpact, March 14, 2017.
    2. Natasha Geiling, “Study: Fracking In The Delaware River Basin Would Threaten Health Of 45,000,” ThinkProgress, Aug. 12, 2015.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Ibid.
    5. Gerald J. Kauffman, “Economic Value of Nature and Ecosystems in the Delaware River Basin," Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education, Aug. 31, 2016.
    6. Geiling, “Study: Fracking In The Delaware River Basin Would Threaten Health Of 45,000.”
    7. Ibid.
    8. Phillips and Hurdle, “Battle re-emerging over fracking along Delaware River.”