Thursday, March 3, 2011

DRBC Adds 30 Days To Comment Period For Proposed Drilling Rules

The Delaware River Basin Commission this week announced the period for submitting written comments on the proposed natural gas development rulemaking will be extended an additional 30 days through the close of business (5 p.m.) April 15. The comment period was to have ended March 16.
“The Commissioners announced the extension at their March 2 public business meeting held in West Trenton in response to numerous requests,” DRBC Executive Director Carol R. Collier said. “This will provide additional time for the public and government officials to study the proposed regulations and offer written technical comments.”
The vote approving the 30-day extension was four (Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and the federal government) to one (Pennsylvania). The Pennsylvania representative said there was more than adequate notice and information available on the proposed regulations and an extension was not needed.
The Commissioners also instructed DRBC staff to immediately begin sorting and processing the approximately 2,500 comments received to date.
The purpose of the proposed regulations is to protect the water resources of the Delaware River Basin during the construction and operation of natural gas development projects. The draft regulations establish requirements to prevent, reduce, or mitigate depletion and degradation of surface and groundwater resources and to promote sound practices of watershed management.
Written comments will be accepted by two methods only: Electronic submission using a web-based form available on the DRBC website (preferred method); or pPaper submission mailed or delivered to: Commission Secretary, DRBC, P.O. Box 7360, 25 State Police Drive, West Trenton, NJ 08628-0360. Please include the name, address, and affiliation (if any) of the commenter.
Comments that are faxed, telephoned, or emailed to individual DRBC Commissioners and staff will not be accepted for the rulemaking record.
All written comments submitted via the two methods described above that are received prior to 5 p.m. on April 15 along with the transcript of the oral testimony presented at the public hearings held February 22 and 24 in Honesdale, Pa., Liberty, N.Y., and Trenton, N.J. will become a part of the rulemaking record and be considered by the Commissioners prior to any action on the proposed regulations. Such action will be taken at a duly noticed public meeting of the Commission on a future date.
For more information, visit the DRBC Natural Gas Development Regulations webpage.

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