Sierra Club unable to find sponsor for Fracking Protections in the 2012 Legislative Session
The Delaware Chapter also attempted to have legislative measures in place to protect Delaware from the dangers of fracking in the Marcellus Shale. We were unable to find a sponsor for these measures in the recent legislative session. However, Representative John Kowalko has indicated that he will support them in the next session. His support is subject to the outcome of the upcoming election in November.
Join Resolution supporting a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for natural gas in the Delaware River Basin.
This resolution would support the DRBC fracking moratorium until a comprehensive environmental impact assessment determines if it could be done safely.
In November 2011 Governor Markell supported policy based upon scientific findings by publicly opposing the proposed regulations for natural gas development in the Delaware River Basin Commission. The proposed regulations would have opened the Delaware Basin in parts of Pennsylvania and New York to hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) without adequate safety measures to insure that public health and the environment were protected. As a result of this statement, the Delaware River Basin Commission cancelled their vote on their proposed natural gas regulations on November 21, 2011. Political pressure by the gas industry is escalating. This Joint Resolution would have provided political support for the Governor to uphold his 2011 decision and maintain the moratorium on natural gas development until after a comprehensive environmental impact assessment is completed.
Ban on “fracking” waste disposal in Delaware.
This bill would make it illegal to possess, dispose, transport or process fracking waste in Delaware. Fracking waste is extremely hazardous, containing a cocktail of toxic materials that are beyond the capacity of wastewater treatment plants. While hydraulically fracked gas drilling does not take place in Delaware at present, gas drillers in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania are exporting fracking wastewater to neighboring states.
Delaware has already been the recipient of fracking wastewater. The News Journal reported that “1.4 million gallons of partially treated wastewater collected from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, wells outside the Delaware River basin were further processed and flushed into Delaware waters through the commercial side of DuPont Co.'s big wastewater plant in Deepwater, N.J., near the foot of the Delaware Memorial Bridge” (Jeff Montgomery, May 20, 2012). This wastewater was released Delaware without the knowledge of state regulators.
This bill would prevent such wastewater from being possessed, transported through Delaware, or disposed of in Delaware; preventing fracking chemicals from contaminating our land, surface water and groundwater resources.
Thresholds for radon in natural gas in Delaware.
This bill which would set a radon threshold for natural gas in Delaware. Hydro-fractured natural gas from the Marcellus shale has an alarmingly high level of radon, which would place Delawareans at risk. Radon is a leading cause of cancer in the United States. This bill would require natural gas to be tested for radon and to meet radiation thresholds.