Delaware River Basin Commission

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The Delaware River Basin Commission(DRBC) is a federal-interstate compact government agency which has the responsibility of regulating water quantity and water quality. It covers the four states in the Basin. The Marcellus shale formation underlies 36 percent of it.

It is mandating disclosure of frac chemicals used by natural gas drillers before approving Marcellus shale drilling permits. The purpose of the Commission is to regulate both the quality and use of water in the Basin watershed. The Deleware River is a main source of Philadelphia's drinking water.

As of September 2008, it still had not received any applications for natural gas drilling in the Marcellus shale formation.

In October, 2008, the DRBC announced that before approving any drilling in the Marcellus shale, it wants full disclosure of chemicals used for hydro-fracturing the shale.

In a May, 2009 announcement by the Director, the Commission informed natural gas drilling companies, operating within the drainage area it controls, that no further drilling could proceed without first obtaining approval from the DRBC. This determination was intended to be an interim statement pending further rules that the Commission will issue at a later point. Regulating natural gas drilling falls within the area of responsibilities of the DRBC to regulate water quality in the Basin. Exploratory wells that once they are complete will simply to be plugged and capped, and never fracked, were specifically excluded from this determination.

In June, 2010 DRBC announced that a recent decision to temporarily ban new permits for drilling gas wells had been extended to cover exploratory wells in the Basin.

The Pennsylvania counties that are both within the Marcellus shale formation and also covered by the DRBC are Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Schuylkill and Wayne.

  • The DRBC's Executive Director is Carol R. Collier.
  • Robert Tudor is Executive Deputy Director.
  • William Muszynski is the Commission's Water Resources Manager.
  • David Kovach is a geologist and hydrologist with the DRBC.
  • Clarke Rupert has been a spokesman for the organization.
  • Kate O'Hara is another spokesperson.
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