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DRBC to Consider Resolution to Publish Revised Draft Rules Addressing Natural Gas Development Activities within the Delaware River Basin

September 13, 2017 Update:

DRBC issued a news release on September 13, 2017 announcing that the commission approved a resolution to publish revised draft rules addressing natural gas development activities within the Delaware River Basin at their September 13, 2017 regularly scheduled business meeting.

For Immediate Release

September 11, 2017

(West Trenton, N.J.) -- The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) today announced its intention to consider a resolution at its next quarterly business meeting which would direct the executive director to prepare and publish for public comment by Nov. 30, 2017 a revised set of draft regulations to address natural gas development activities within the Delaware River Basin.

The Sept. 13 DRBC business meeting, open to the public, will begin at 10:30 a.m. and will be held at the Linksz Pavilion, Bucks County Community College, 275 Swamp Road, in Newtown, Pa.

The resolution to be considered by the commissioners is procedural and, if adopted, would initiate a new phase in the rulemaking process. The commissioners will not be adopting any natural gas development draft regulations at the Sept. 13 meeting.

If the proposed resolution is approved by the commission on Sept. 13, the revised draft rules to be published on a later date would include prohibitions related to the production of natural gas utilizing horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing within the Delaware River Basin. The revised draft regulations would also include provisions for ensuring the safe and protective storage, treatment, disposal or discharge of hydraulic fracturing-related wastewater where permitted and provide for the regulation of inter-basin transfers of water and wastewater for purposes of natural gas development where permitted. According to the proposed resolution, the commissioners are directing that the revised draft rules be issued for public comment no later than Nov. 30, 2017.

The public input process on the revised draft regulations will include one or more hearings and ample opportunity for written comments. No action on the revised draft rules will be taken by the commission until the public comment process is completed. The commissioners will consider changes to the revised draft regulations that may be appropriate based on the comments received.

Details about the public hearing(s) and instructions for submitting written comments will be included in the notice of proposed rulemaking. Interested persons are invited to regularly check the commission’s web site at www.drbc.net for information as it becomes available.

There will be no opportunity for public comment prior to consideration of the procedural resolution at the Sept.13 business meeting. After all scheduled business has been completed and as time allows, up to one hour of Open Public Comment may be provided at the discretion of the DRBC chair.

Written or oral comments received before the draft rules are published and the comment period officially opens will not be included in the rulemaking record.

Natural gas development background information can be found on the commission’s web site at www.nj.gov/drbc/programs/natural/.

The DRBC is a federal/interstate government agency responsible for managing the water resources within the 13,539 square-mile Delaware River Basin without regard to political boundaries. The five commission members are the governors of the basin states (Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania) and the commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ North Atlantic Division, who represents the federal government.

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Contact: Clarke Rupert, Clarke.Rupert@drbc.nj.gov, (609) 883-9500 ext. 260

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