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Delaware River Basin Talking Points

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Telephone Public Hearing Information

WHEN: Tue, March 6, 2018; 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM EST

WHERE: Your telephone (Call 1-866-831-8713 to join the conference)

WHY: The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) has released draft regulations banning fracking in the entire Delaware River Basin watershed. But these regulations do not go far enough and could potentially contaminate drinking water sources for more than 15 million Americans.

The basin, which extends from the Catskills in New York to parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland, has been at risk of fracking for over 10 years. We need to fight to permanently protect it.

HOW: If you’d like to speak up about protecting the Delaware River Basin during the call, please register here to speak. There are only a limited number of spots left to speak, so make sure to register right away. There is no need to register to listen to the call.

Talking Points

1. Fracking can and has contaminated air and drinking water, ruined landscapes, caused earthquakes, harmed human health, and contributed to climate change.

2. The Commission’s draft regulations banning fracking are an important step in the right direction, but they could still open the watershed to the storage, treatment, and disposal of contaminated fracking wastewater.

3. The draft regulations could also allow companies to draw freshwater from the watershed for use in fracking elsewhere.

4. This will not do—we need regulations that permanently ban fracking and protect the watershed and surrounding communities from all fracking-related activities.

5. Altogether, approximately 15 million people (5% of the total U.S. population) depend on the Delaware River Basin for clean drinking water.  

6. Over 600,000 jobs, or more than $12 billion in annual wages, rely on a clean and protected River Basin for survival.

7. While I strongly support a ban, I am concerned about loopholes in the draft regulations that would undermine the fracking ban by still allowing wastewater, one of the most toxic aspects of the fracking process, to be transported, treated, and disposed of within the River Basin.

8. The fracking process yields wastewater containing over 1,000 contaminants that can cause significant harm to human health and the environment.

9. Many of these chemicals are radioactive, corrosive, and toxic to humans and animals. They can also imperil ecosystems by depleting oxygen or causing algal blooms, and they can interact with disinfectants at drinking water plants to form cancer-causing chemicals.

10. There is no safe way to handle, treat, and dispose of fracking wastewater. Even when there are strict regulations in place, where there’s wastewater, there are spills, and these spills pollute our water, destroy habitats, and make people sick.  

11. These regulations should not allow fracking companies to withdraw water from the River Basin for fracking elsewhere.  Fracking uses enormous volumes of water, approximately 3-5 million gallons per well per frack, and nearly all of that water is lost to the fracking process.

I urge the DRBC to enact a ban on fracking in the Delaware River Basin that fully protects our environment, climate, and health.

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talking pointsKyle Shepherd