REGION — The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) has issued a revised draft of proposed regulations on hydraulic fracturing in the Delaware River Basin.

The DRBC states in a release that revisions to the regulations and comprehensive plan announced in September aim to “better provide for the planning, conservation, utilization, development, management and control of the basin’s water resources in connection with the hydraulic fracturing of shale and other hydrocarbon bearing formations.”

The release, dated Nov. 30, also states the revised draft rules “...prohibit high volume hydraulic fracturing in hydrocarbon bearing rock formations within the Delaware River Basin.”

The draft also includes “...provisions for ensuring that the treatment and disposal of produced water from hydraulic fracturing does not impair or conflict with the preservation of the waters of the basin for uses in accordance with the DRBC comprehensive plan.”

The basin includes 13,500 square miles in four states, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Locally, Marcellus Shale formations are found in Wayne, Pike, Monroe and Carbon Counties in Pennsylvania and extends into the New York State counties in the Delaware River Basin side of the river.

New York state has prohibited the practice of hydraulic fracturing, a method used that involves injecting highly-pressurized liquid into rocks to force open existing cracks extract the oil or gas within.

With the revisions released, the draft of regulations is now available for public comment.

The DRBC has scheduled four hearings with two in Wayne County.

Registration is required to attend a public hearing, and advanced registration will remain open until 5 p.m. on Dec. 31.

The DRBC states that shortly after that date, registrants will be “...afforded an opportunity to request speaking time.”

Elected government officials and staff will have the opportunity to identify themselves during the registration process.

The public hearings are as follows:

• Mon., Jan. 23 from 1 – 4:30 p.m. at Ladore Camp, Retreat and Conference Center's Performing Arts and Recreation Center, 287 Owego Turnpike, Waymart.

To register, visit http://bit.ly/2ApxOB1

• Mon., Jan. 23 from 6 – 9:30 p.m. at Ladore Camp, Retreat and Conference Center's Performing Arts and Recreation Center, 287 Owego Turnpike, Waymart.

To register, visit http://bit.ly/2AgHtsV.

• Thurs., Jan. 25 from 1 – 4:30 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel by Philadelphia Airport 4509 Island Ave., Philadelphia, Pa.

To register, http://bit.ly/2AIPh7P

• Thurs., Jan. 25, 2018 from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia Airport, 4509 Island Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. To register, visit http://bit.ly/2ip6Pyn

 

The DRBC will also accept written comments on the draft regulations.

These comments “...will receive the same consideration as oral comments...” the release states, and can be submitted until 5 p.m. on Feb. 28, 2018.

Written comments and attachments must be submitted through the commission's online comments webpage at the following web address: http://dockets.drbc.commentinput.com/.

“Written comments will not be accepted through other methods, such as mail, fax or hand delivery, unless an express exception has been granted based on lack of access to the web-based system,” the release states.

Requests for exceptions may be addressed to:

Commission Secretary, DRBC, P.O. Box 7360, West Trenton, NJ 08628.

To view the draft in its entirety, visit: http://www.nj.gov/drbc/meetings/proposed/notice_hydraulic-fracturing.html.