Proposed DRBC gas-drilling rules panned

    Environmental regulators got an earful Thursday about proposed rules governing drilling for natural gas along the Delaware River.

    The Delaware River Basin Commission has imposed a moratorium on all new drilling until members agree on regulations. But they have not pleased anyone.

    About 200 people attended the hearing in Trenton — some favor drilling, others oppose it. But everyone had something to say against the proposed rules.

    Jim Walsh thought the regulations did not go far enough.

    “We are talking about our drinking water here, something that people need to live. Make sure you don’t forget that,” he said. “There are more than a thousand documented cases of contamination near drilling sites around the country.”

    Others, such as Allan Nowicki, CEO of Pennswood Oil & Gas, said the proposals are overreaching.

    “Under these proposed regulations, the natural gas industry cannot access capital markets, create jobs, spur economic activity or explore and develop natural gas,” he said.

    The DRBC has received about 1,700 written comments so far on the pending rules. The regulations would determine where gas companies could drill, how much water could be withdrawn from the river, and what would happen to the resulting wastewater.

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