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

For Immediate Release

September 13, 2017

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

The resolution -- which was approved by a vote of three in favor (Delaware, New York, and Pennsylvania), one opposed (federal government), and one abstaining (New Jersey) -- is procedural and initiates a new phase in the rulemaking process. The commissioners did not adopt natural gas development regulations at the Sept. 13 meeting.

As directed by the approved resolution, the revised draft rules to be published no later than Nov. 30 will include prohibitions related to the production of natural gas utilizing horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing within the Delaware River Basin. The revised draft regulations will also include provisions to ensure 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.

The procedural resolution approved today and an updated set of frequently asked questions (FAQs), along with additional background information, can be viewed at www.nj.gov/drbc/programs/natural/.

Following publication of the revised draft regulations, the public input process 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 to be published no later than Nov. 30. Interested persons are invited to regularly check the commission’s web site at www.drbc.net and follow DRBC on Twitter (@DRBC1961) for information as it becomes available.

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.

Today’s business meeting, open to the public, was held at Bucks County Community College in Newtown, Pa. The commission thanks the college for allowing the meeting to be held on its campus.

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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