West Trenton, NJ – The Delaware Riverkeeper Network finds no merit in a legal action filed by the Wayne Land and Mineral Group against the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC). The lawsuit opposes the moratorium on shale gas extraction within the boundaries of the Delaware River Watershed and seeks a declaration that the DRBC does not have the legal authority to regulate shale gas well pads within the boundaries of the Delaware River Watershed. The Wayne Land and Mineral Group claims it is entitled to pursue drilling without DRBC review, approval or docket.
“This lawsuit seeks to completely disempower the DRBC,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper and leader of the regional nonprofit organization, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. “The science is clear and indisputable: drilling and fracking associated with shale gas extraction damages the health, safety, and water quality of communities where it happens. The DRBC has been carrying out the will of the people by putting in place a moratorium while it identifies the best long-term solution for our region. Our communities cannot and should not be sacrificed for the economic goals of the drilling industry,” van Rossum added.
The case challenges the legal authority of the DRBC to implement a moratorium on shale gas extraction within the Delaware River Watershed while it decides how or if the quality of the
Delaware River, a drinking water supply for 17 million people and an economic driver for the region, can be protected if drilling, fracking and all its associated activities are permitted by the DRBC. The case was filed in US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on May 17, 2016 by the Wayne Land and Mineral Group.
“The DRBC’s authority over shale gas extraction, given the impacts of drilling and fracking for gas, is legally clear and strong. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network will be seeking to intervene and to defend our watershed from this specious claim that, if successful, would inflict so much harm on so many,” van Rossum stated.
“The case seems to suggest that the WMLG is going to begin construction of the elements necessary to advance a gas drilling well on its property,” added van Rossum.