DRBC Again Delays Rules Covering Natural Gas Drilling

The Delaware River Basin Commission is again delaying the release of rules covering the drilling of natural gas within the watershed.
In a statement, the commission announced that the proposed regulations, which were to be unveiled in September and then were delayed until mid-October, now won't come for at least another month. The commission said the delay was to give staffers time to ensure that it minimizes bureaucratic overlap with other regulators.
"The commissioners are working with staff to continue refining the draft regulations to ensure protection of basin waters while minimizing regulatory duplication," the statement said. "The draft regulations will likely be published in November or December 2010, and will be accompanied by a public rulemaking process. This process will entail two public hearings and a written comment period."
The Delaware Riverkeeper Network, which opposes drilling, urged supporters to lobby against releasing the proposed regulations until a federal study is completed. "This federally funded comprehensive study must be done first and then the information learned be used to inform the regulations that the DRBC will adopt regarding gas development in the Delaware River Watershed," said Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum in a statement. "This is essential to [prevent] … pollution and degradation to the Delaware River and the water supply for more than 15 million people."