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Voices of the People are Heard at DRBC Meeting

March 6, 2013
"PROTECT WATER FOR ALL," says the crowd, representing 67 organizations petitioning the DRBC to stop abdicating its authority over fracked gas pipelines; "NOT THE PROFITS OF A FEW," the crowd spells out on the other side of the room. DRBC meeting, West Trenton, NJ March 6 2013. Photo: Iris Marie Bloom

“PROTECT WATER FOR ALL,” the crowd, representing 67 organizations petitioning the Delaware River Basin Commission to stop abdicating its authority over fracked gas pipelines; “NOT THE PROFITS OF A FEW,” the crowd spelled out on the other side of the room. DRBC meeting, West Trenton, NJ March 6 2013. Photo: Iris Marie Bloom

Protecting Our Waters, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and citizens from across the region dominated the meeting of the Delaware River Basin Commission today, calling on the DRBC to exercise its jurisdiction over an ever-burgeoning network of regional fracking infrastructure.

Delaware River watershed residents from four states urge DRBC to stop the Tennessee Gas Pipeline and to review all pipelines in the basin. Protecting Our Waters calls for a moratorium on all fracked gas pipeline construction to protect water, air, health and climate. Photo: Iris Marie Bloom. March 6th 2013

Delaware River watershed residents from four states urge DRBC to stop the Tennessee Gas Pipeline and to review all pipelines in the basin. Protecting Our Waters calls for a moratorium on all fracked gas pipeline construction to protect water, air, health and climate. Photo: Iris Marie Bloom. March 6th 2013

Testimony poured forth from the roughly 70 folks who traveled to West Trenton to kick the DRBC into action.  Speakers so overwhelmed the DRBC that it went into recess for a time, and opened up the floor for public comment early.  Iris Marie Bloom, director of Protecting Our Waters, reported that speakers were “linking pipeline impacts on air, water and climate;  upstream and downstream; from fracking extraction through every stage of distribution.”

The hearing comes on the heels of the DRBC’s unanimous vote in December to deny all requests to exercise their jurisdiction over pipelines, including such destructive lines as the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Northeast Upgrade.  In January the DRBC issued a limited reversal of that decision, deciding to review two pipelines that had already been built.

At the meeting today, DRBC chair Kelly Heffner told the audience that the DRBC would addess a formal petition the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Protecting Our Waters and 65 other organizations submitted to it, but would do so at a later hearing.  Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum protested that waiting until the next DRBC meeting would be too late.

The DRBC has jurisdiction to protect the Delaware River and its watershed.  Under massive public pressure, the DRBC in late 2011 backed off from issuing regulations for gas drilling, effectively stopping new drilling in the Delaware River Basin.  However, the DRBC has kept mum while the Delaware River Basin has been despoiled by pipelines and compressor stations, and is under political pressure from Pennsylvania Governor Corbett, among others, to allow fracking in the watershed.

Jolie DeFeis stands her ground at DRBC meeting; trees cut for the Tennessee Gas Pipeline litter the ground near her Pike County, PA home. Photo: Iris Marie Bloom

Jolie DeFeis stands her ground at DRBC meeting; trees cut for the Tennessee Gas Pipeline litter the ground near her Pike County, PA home. Photo: Iris Marie Bloom

8 Comments
  1. Jim Cummings permalink
    March 6, 2013 6:36 pm

    Great work! Thank you so much. !El Peublo unido, jamas sera vendido!

  2. March 6, 2013 9:41 pm

    Thank you all for speaking for the trees, the water, and humanity.

  3. March 7, 2013 8:09 am

    For some more pictures of the DRBC meeting 3.6.13 in trenton, please see “When the People Stand Up For The Trees”: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10100225531345559.1073741829.38810784&type=3

  4. March 7, 2013 8:12 am

    Also see: STOP THE TENNESSEE PIPELINE:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/wendylynnelee/collections/72157632903361731/

  5. Eric Peters permalink
    March 7, 2013 11:51 pm

    The Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Protecting Our Waters and concerned citizens from four states vented their anger at the Delaware River Basin Commission when the agency refused to take action to regulate shale gas pipelines in the watershed. The protestors shutdown the meeting at one point. Watch this powerful video!

  6. Eric Peters permalink
    March 7, 2013 11:53 pm

    “A failure to act is a decision not to act.” – Maya van Rossum

  7. Eric Peters permalink
    March 8, 2013 12:50 am

    This is a minimally edited video of the 2 hour and 45 minute DRBC meeting.

  8. March 8, 2013 4:53 pm

    Reblogged this on Frack_Free_Farming.

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