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Environmental advocates cheer Delaware River Basin Commission’s ban on fracking

By: Lisa Scheid, The Reading Eagle
March 1, 2021

A decision last week by the Delaware River Basin Commission would ban fracking through the Delaware River watershed, including Berks County.

There had been a temporary moratorium instituted in 2010, but that was recently challenged in court. The ban is also likely to face legal challenges.

A Day Away: 'One of the pleasantest situations on the river'
The Delaware River at Philadelphia. The commission that oversees the river’s watershed, which includes Berks County, has banned fracking in the watershed and is committed to developing other new rules related to fracking.

Also last week, the commission voted unanimously to develop regulations for the management of drilling wastewater coming into the watershed and for water being taken out of the watershed for use in drilling operations. The proposed wastewater regulations are to be available by Sept. 30.

Hydraulic fracturing, called fracking, is an oil and gas well development process that typically involves injecting water, sand and chemicals under high pressure deep into a bedrock formation to free natural gas trapped in rock formations like shale.

The process fueled a fossil fuel boom that made Pennsylvania second in the nation for natural gas production.

There weren’t many efforts to institute fracking in the basin until a recent study determined there was natural gas to be had.

Environmentalists have criticized the process, which they say causes health and environmental problems.

Those advocates said the commission’s vote Feb. 25 marked a huge victory in a decadelong fight to protect the watershed from unconventional drilling and the practices surrounding it.

Read the full article on The Reading Eagle

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