NJ Lawmaker Wants Extension of Fracking Ban In Delaware River Watershed

Sep 11, 2017

Map of Delaware River Basin

A New Jersey lawmaker is urging continuation of a temporary moratorium on fracking in the Delaware River watershed.

Senator Kip Bateman says the drilling process that uses high-pressure liquid to extract natural gas has benefits but allowing it in the Delaware River Basin could endanger water quality.

"There's a great deal of concern that some of the chemicals that they're using to fracture the shale or the rock to get to the gas is contaminating water supply. So until we know for sure, and I know some studies are being done, I would like them to at least continue the ban."

The Delaware River Basin Commission put the moratorium in place in 2010 until it adopts regulations on fracking.

Tracy Carluccio, deputy director of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, says environmental groups want the ban to be permanent.

"A fracking ban is absolutely essential in order to protect water quality for 17 million people who rely on the Delaware River for their water supply every day."

On Wednesday, The Delaware River Basin Commission will consider advancing a new phase of rulemaking to address natural gas development. It says revised rules could include prohibitions related to horizontal natural gas drilling within the Delaware River Basin and regulate transfers of fracking wastewater.