Delaware River Threatened

Julie Slavet
Sep 30, 2009

Please make sure to read this article about the proposed natural gas exploration in the Marcellus Shale and how it could seriously damage our drinking water!

From the article:

Philadelphians tend to take their abundant, cheap drinking water for granted. However, the quality, quantity, and price tag of clean water in the Delaware River basin, source of Philadelphia’s drinking water, may be at risk due to a new natural gas extraction process called hydrofracking, or fracking. Fracking uses huge amounts of water, mixed with toxic chemicals and injected at high pressure, to fracture the Marcellus Shale, releasing the shale’s natural gas. The Marcellus Shale formation stretches from Ohio through Pennsylvania to New York and is believed to contain enough natural gas to fuel the U.S. for 13 years. But fracking creates polluted wastewater (“frac water”) which is several times saltier than the ocean and contains heavy metals and toxic chemicals. Municipal wastewater treatment facilities are not equipped for this level of pollution, and according to Sierra Club testimony before Congress, “a technological solution may be years away.”

Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC has applied to the Delaware River Basin Commission for approval of a major hydraulic fracturing project for exploration and development of natural gas wells in New York and Pennsylvania. This could have some major consequences for Philadelphia’s drinking water. However, public comment on this plan is welcome. Written comments should be mailed to Commission Secretary, DRBC, P.O. Box 7360, 25 State Police Drive, West Trenton, NJ 08628-0360. They also may be faxed to “Attn: Commission Secretary” at (609) 883-9522 or emailed to All written comments should include the name, address, and affiliation (if any) of the commenter, along with “Chesapeake Withdrawal” in the subject line.

More information, including the entire plan, is available on the DRBC website.

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