The Delaware River Basin Commission and the Marcellus Shale

Julie Slavet
Oct 19, 2009

According to the Delaware River Basin Commission, substantial efforts are being taken to protect water and environment from degradation during extraction of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale deposits that span from West Virginia across Northwestern Pennsylvania and up into New York.

But TTF staff recently attended a DRBC presentation held by the American Water Resources Association: Philadelphia Metropolitan Area Section, and we were saddened to learn that natural gas drilling will take place in the Marcellus Shale regardless of the efforts of environmental organizations.

According to Carol Collier, Executive Director the DRBC, “We are looking to provide directional signs, not stops signs” in discussing the proposed drilling. But from our perspective, some projects deserve to be stopped!

The headwaters for the Delaware River is one of the areas likely to be significantly impacted by this project. The Delaware River serves nearly 15 million citizens in parts of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Hydrofracing, the process used to obtain natural gas, uses somewhere between three to five million gallons of water per well. About 40-60 percent of that water is reclaimed as wastewater and contains not only additives from the hydrofracing process, but heavy metals, dissolved solids and chemicals picked up from the layers of earth it has passed through. A satisfactory plan for treating this wastewater has not yet been developed. Where will this wastewater go except right back into our drinking water? We can’t stand for big business polluting OUR drinking water!

To read more about natural gas extraction from the Marcellus Shale deposits click here. To voice your opinion about the natural gas extraction, read our previous post on this topic.

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