Appalachian Basin

Residents to DRBC: Finalize Natural Gas Regs

Nicole reported on Friday about the letter the Wayne County commissioners sent in early June to Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) Executive Director, Carol Collier, expressing their frustrations over its delay in approving responsible shale development. This was followed last week with a similar letter from Pa. Governor Tom Corbett to Collier on behalf of his constituents in the DRBC region.

Those residents have now voiced their own opinions through the Northern Wayne Property Owners Alliance (NWPOA), a group that holds more than 100,000 acres of property in Susquehanna County and Northern Wayne County and “serves as an advocate for local landowners and assist in securing arrangements that protect property, community and the environment. “

From the NWPOA letter to the DRBC:

“… 19 months have passed since the Commission proposed regulations, held hearings on them and then failed to bring them to a vote. We’re at a loss to understand why this is going on or to accept the temporizing the Commission staff has offered instead of substantive explanations.

The commission’s failure to adopt natural-gas regulations or step aside has not only harmed many people financially, it actually threatens the land itself. Several of our members with extensive acreage say they could be forced to heavily timber their lands or subdivide them and open the subdivisions to development so they and their families can keep going financially. It is hard to predict what community and environmental problems new residential and commercial development could bring.

The Commission’s inaction has left the Alliance and a huge share of its individual members—along with many other Wayne County landowners, property groups and businesses—to conclude that if the Commission, at its July 9-10th meeting, fails to at least schedule a vote before year’s end on the proposed regulations or, alternatively, fails to step aside and abandon any plan to regulate natural gas activity in the basin that the Commission simply has no intention of ending what has become a de facto ban and that we are being forced to begin litigation against the Commission, its member states and executive staff and others who may have worked in concert with them, to regain our right to access our mineral estates.”

Read the full letter to the DRBC here.

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