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March 18, 2011

At last count only 2,500 people had submitted written comments to the DRBC, still short of the many thousands we need to really count as an uprising against these premature, inadequate fracking regulations going into effect.  Unless we generate a tremendous response to recent revelations about radioactive toxic waste — and other dangers — from gas drilling, the DRBC would lift the moratorium after the Public Comment period ends April 15th, so we absolutely need you to comment now.  You may comment more than once, and your voice does make a difference.

If you haven’t commented yet, now is your time.  Check out our sample letter to the DRBC (which you can also print out and mail in to to make doubly sure the DRBC hears your voice) as well as the new facts revealed in the recent New York Times articles.  Feel free to cut and paste from either the sample letter or the new facts listed below and use it all as inspiration for your comments.

If you are part of the Delaware River watershed, whether you live in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware, now is your moment to fight for your watershed by submitting a formal comment to the DRBC. It takes a few minutes and can help protect our own and future generations from irreversible damage created by unconventional gas drilling.

Here’s how to submit your electronic comments:

Please click here to go to the PEPC web page to comment on this proposed regulation.

Once on the NPS web site, click on the ‘Open For Comment’ link to the left hand side and select the document ‘Natural Gas Development Regulations – DRAFT’.  Review the draft and click on the comment button above the draft.

Protecting Our Waters Sample Comment Letter to the DRBC:

Delaware River Basin Commission Letter March 4, 2011

Drop-off points for paper letters you get signed: three addresses in Philadelphia!

West Philadelphia: 4808 Windsor Avenue, 19143

South Philadelphia:  805 E. Passyunk Avenue, 19147

Northwest Philadelphia: 427 West Sedgwick Street, 19119 Apartment A (drop into mailbox)

Some important facts surrounding the issue of fracking:

Here’s why this is important:  Your water is not protected, because over 1000 instances of poisoned water have been reported from shale gas drilling so far.  There has been no cumulative impacts study for the Delaware River watershed.  The Halliburton Loophole exempts gas drillers from key provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Superfund Law and waste treatment laws; this is completely unacceptable.  And, greenhouse gas emissions — the vast amount of methane, carbon dioxide, and VOCs pouring into the air from shale gas drilling — are 100% unregulated which guarantees both intense air pollution and escalating climate change.

Don't allow fracking fluids to pollute your water! Comment now to the DRBC. It's easy and you can comment multiple times.

We already know drillers have injected 32 billion gallons of diesel underground, and that benzene is showing up in people’s drinking water in gas drilling areas in state after state.  We already knew about 596 contaminants in fracking fluid.  But the New York Times series added yet more disturbing data:

* 1.3 billion gallons of toxic, often radioactive gas drilling waste has already been discharged to Pennsylvania waters in the past 3 years without measuring radioactivity in downstream drinking water at all.

* In Texas, a hospital system in six counties with heavy drilling found a 25% asthma rate in children in 2010, triple the state’s average rate.

* Pennsylvania allows gas drilling waste, toxic and radioactive though it be, to be used as brine to tamp down roads; brine to de-ice roads; and to be sold in solid form as road salt — which goes straight into our aquifers and drinking water.

* The Marcellus Shale Coalition (industry PR and lobbying group) successfully deterred PA officials last year from requiring drillers to track the waste they produce from gas well to end destination.  Thus, there is no way to know whether the waste ever reaches treatment facilities.  And most of the facilities accepting gas drilling waste are not equipped to remove radioactive contaminants and other toxins.

* It has bee revealed that there has been heated debate inside EPA; some EPA lawyers actually want to intervene to stop illegal gas drilling pollution.

*  EPA recommendations — such as a moratorium on drilling in New York City’s watershed — have been removed by political pressure.

* Exemptions for gas drillers actually are being better understood: for example, coal mine operators who want to inject toxic chemicals underground must apply to federal authorities for permission, but gas drillers have blanket permission to inject toxics underground.  Also, steel plants’ air pollution is aggregated, but gas drilling facilities’ air pollution sneaks below thresholds because it is not aggregated.

First in series: Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers

Second in series: Gas Drillers Recycle Wastewater, but Risks Remain

Third in series: Pressure Limits Efforts to Police Drilling for Gas

Please insist that there must be a complete moratorium on gas drilling in the Delaware River watershed (complete! that means no water withdrawals, no test wells, no unconventional gas drilling, no toxic waste transport, treatment and dumping) until cumulative impacts for this watershed are studied; until the Halliburton Loophole is completely closed; and until greenhouse gas emissions from shale gas drilling operations are fully regulated by the EPA.

Whatever you do, don’t be intimidated — make your voice heard!
  1. abe permalink*
    February 7, 2011 1:26 pm

    Left a comment telling them to slow down yesterday. Yay!

  2. March 10, 2011 1:20 pm

    Stop this! It is inhumane!, Insane! Unconstitutional!
    Ban all fracking, WE BEG YOU! Look , think of the decades of catastrophic, irreversible environmental oil/gas events ! WHAT are you thinking?!?!?!?!


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  3. Reminder to submit your comment before DRBC Public Comment period ends April 15 « Protecting Our Waters

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