DRBC Fracks Its Own Governing Compact

Just in time for Turkey Day: Next week, on Monday, 21 November 2011, the Delaware River Basic Commission’s five members will cast their votes on fracking the Delaware. To frack the Delaware is to frack the DRB Compact itself– twice. It’s a good thing that thousands of humans will be in Trenton protesting ! (Click here to get involved.)

First off, if you want an overview of the DRB, then go here. If you want to read the entire DRB Compact, then go here. Next, the two main DRB problems are below. (I am sure there are more. Heck, I’m just a dog, and a three-legged one at that.)

The DRB Compact is supposed to govern the DRB Commission. It states very clearly that (1.) the DRBC must prohibit pollution of the basin, and that (2.) the DRBC cannot entertain members who benefit from the pollution itself!

This is not what George had in mind. This is not what democracy looks like.

PROBLEM 1. The DRB Compact specifically prohibits the Commission from polluting the waters of the basin. The DRB Commissioners have to take an oath, a “covenant and pledge” to “prohibit and control pollution of the waters of the basin” according to Article 5 (“Pollution Control”).

Voting to frack the DRB is voting to break that oath. Two federal agencies have already proven that “fracking” pollutes groundwater. Unconventional shale gas development (“fracking”) has contaminated wells in PA (see here for federal report; also, for long-term contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming’s aquifer, see the EPA report here). Therefore, the DRB cannot commit to fracking in the basin given the known short-term and long-term contamination results.

Invoking the flag for all the RIGHT reasons! SAVE THE DELAWARE! We will soon lose this natural, national, scenic, historic treasure to unconventional shale gas development.

PROBLEM 2. The DRB Compact specifically prohibits any commissioner, officer, or employee of the DRBC from gaining any direct or indirect benefit from the commission’s actions. To profit money or privilege is a “prohibited activity” for Commissioners and is defined broadly in Article 14, the General Provisions. It is 14.8.a. It is being violated.

Tom Corbett must give-up either his vote or give-up all his ties to the natural gas industry– as would any other voter on the DRBC. Tom Corbett is the epitome of what it means to gain “appointment, promotion, or privilege” on the DRB Commission because Tom was put in office (and thus on the DRB Commission) by an industry-funded campaign. It’s that simple, and if you have any doubt about Corbett’s financial investment, all you have to do is look at his $1.6m received from the natural gas industry.

It’s time to cross the Delaware again. Come to PA… you won’t have to go too far to see that fracking is much, much more than just “fracking.”


About adamaecompton

just a three-legged rescue dog, bloggin about critical citizenship, the environment, and all sorts of literacy.
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3 Responses to DRBC Fracks Its Own Governing Compact

  1. Tim says:

    “Two federal agencies have already proven that “fracking” pollutes groundwater.” Citation plz? My little community is voting on allowing wells very soon and we need all to ammo we can get.

    • Hi Tim, Just follow the links. I hesitate to call it ammo like you do because I prefer peaceful imagery (rather than the fighting words invoked by the likes of Lt. Gov Jim Cawley, who told inudstry reps to “fight back” against humans with environmental concerns). I will quote the two recent reports below…
      The Wyoming EPA study was just released last week.
      http://www.wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/epa-releases-new-pavillion-data has this to say:
      Sampling results results released last night found a number of diesel and gasoline range organics on a fairly wide-spread basis, as well as methane with a similar chemical signature to gas in the areas production reservoir.
      Ayn Schmit with the EPA says several petroleum related compounds were found in some sampled wells, as well as naturally occurring sulfates and sodium. However, Schmit says the two monitoring wells saw high PH levels above what’s seen in the areas aquifer, and in domestic wells, as well as benzene at 50 times the safe drinking water acts maximum contaminant level.

      “We did find methane in both of the deep monitoring wells, um, the water was bubbling, um, methane was present at near saturation levels, and that methane, again, when you looked at its isotopic signature it looked very similar to the production gas.”
      Regarding PA, go here: http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2011/11/11/federal-agency-finds-one-out-of-seven-water-wells-contaminated-by-bradford-county-blowout/
      This article refers to the well-blowout incident and the testing of 7 wells nearby:
      One of the seven wells, Well No. 4, showed a 10-fold increase in methane and var­i­ous salts, com­pared with sam­ples taken in July 2010, before nat­ural gas drilling began at the site. These chem­i­cals are con­sis­tent with those expected to be mobi­lized from nat­ural gas extrac­tion activ­i­ties. Adults and chil­dren drink­ing water from this well would exceed the rec­om­mended daily dietary guide­lines for sodium. Lithium was detected at a level exceed­ing the EPA screen­ing level. The lithium level could be of con­cern to peo­ple cur­rently under­go­ing lithium ther­apy or tak­ing cer­tain drugs that inter­act with lithium

  2. Pingback: Top 10 3-legged Dog Blog Posts of 2011 | ada.mae.compton

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