Energy. Environment. Economy.

Property Owners Lobby to Lift Drilling Ban Along the Delaware River

Wayne County

                                              Susan Phillips/StateImpactPA

Peter Wynne [L], along with brothers Curt and Chuck Coccodrilli, members of the Northern Wayne Property Owner’s Alliance. They say it’s time to start drilling along the Delaware River.

There’s still no word from the Delaware River Basin Commission on establishing new natural gas drilling regulations. The DRBC sent out its agenda for the regularly scheduled March 7 meeting, but drilling will not be discussed. What is on the agenda is a new report on conservation strategies for the basin conducted by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. It’s unclear how that report may or may not, impact the debate over the new rules.

In the meantime, property owners in Wayne county are getting impatient. The Northern Wayne Property Owners Alliance recently met with Governor Corbett and his energy executive Patrick Henderson, to push drilling in the Delaware River Basin. Members of the Alliance say Corbett was sympathetic, but gave no indication of when a vote on the new gas drilling regulations would occur. Corbett of course wants the DRBC to lift its moratorium, and expressed “disappointment” when Delaware Governor Jack Markell helped stall the vote on new regulations last fall.

The NWPOA also sent a letter to the head of the DRBC, Carol Collier, asking her to lift the moratorium. The group’s attorney David Mandelbaum writes that it violates the Constitution, calling it an “uncompensated taking” forbidden by the Fifth Amendment.

“What the Commission is now imposing amounts to a permanent – or at least indefinite – ban on natural gas development. NWPOA acknowledges that regulatory approval programs typically involve delays during which the development may not proceed while the regulator considers an application for approval. Further, some planning programs impose temporary development moratoria while the regulator adopts a plan. But that is not what has happened here. The Staff has developed regulations. The Commission will not adopt them. The motivation of at least some Commissioners for not acting on the regulations is that action might lift the complete ban. That is not a hiatus for planning. That is a prohibition.”

The letter says the DRBC has overstepped its regulatory authority by creating an outright ban on all drilling. It says the agency’s task is to view each drilling “project” on its own merits.

The DRBC created draft drilling regulations but after postponing several hearings on the new rules, no new public meetings on the issue have been scheduled.


  • Stevesaylor1

    What are these people (and their lawyer) waiting for?  Do they think that meeting with one of the governors who is in the minority (favoring drilling in the DRBC) is going to move their case forward?  Doesn’t their lawyer know that his client’s only recourse is through the federal court system?  If he is so sure of his position that the DRBC is effecting a taking without just compensation or acting outside its authority, why doesn’t he file a lawsuit instead of writing letters?

  • Garyscottr6

    Sad that these idiots can not understand the science and facts behind the drilling. Water is precious and the facts prove that this is not safe. Poison in stays in until it eventually seeps into the water system. Plus the fact that the industry has a long record of spills and coverups and small fines. Plus the energy used to ext rat does nothing to lesson our dependance on foreign oil considering the workers tend to make more money and then purchase gas guzzling vehicles. Not to mention the amount of resources required to do this drilling such as crushed rocks from the very land relive on and depend upon for sustainability. Also consider the fact that sand is shipped in from out west, another fuel expense. Money corrupts and so does ignorance and greed. There is a reason we are the sickest and unhealthiest nation in the world. Educate yourselves on the facts and do not depend on the media to educate you as you stare at the television. Read and research and look at who funds the studies. 

  • Kalvi99

    These bastards want the promised big bucks instead of thinking what they’re going to have to spend it for: doctors’ bills!

  • Christopher O. Young

    Disgusting landowners out for a buck, not giving a damn about poisoning everyone’s river.

  • rustik

    How do you spell it? SELFISH! GREEDY! IGNORANT!

  • Laura

    These greedy excuses for human beings do not deserve to have property any where near the Delaware River. They would see all of the length of the Delaware polluted for their own gain. May they reap what they sow ten times over, the pieces of dung.

  • no drilling

    Let the homeowners who want drilling so badly drink the polluted water that everyone else will have to drink downstream. Nothing about this is a taking, in fact, letting drilling move forward is a taking of my clean drinking water by the folks in Wayne county.

  • Patrice Vanslyke

    This is not a “right to drill on my land” issue.  It is an environmental, ecological, biological issue. The science proves that fracking is a threat to fresh water sources. The industry has proved that there is no such thing as responsible drilling.  The very acts of: removing millions of gallons of water from the water cycle, polluting the water with chemicals, then pumping the toxic slurry into the ground are irresponsible. There have already been too many cases of water contamination. These are acts of terrorism. The process must be banned.

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