Friday, February 26, 2021

Delaware RiverKeeper Approved To Intervene In Federal Lawsuit By PA Senate Republican Caucus Against DRBC Ban On Hydraulic Fracking Gas Drilling

On February 25, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania approved the
Delaware RiverKeeper Network’s motion to intervene in the PA Senate Republican Caucus lawsuit against the Delaware River Basin Commission's ban on hydraulic fracking gas drilling.

The approval to intervene was issued the same day as the Delaware River Basin Commission's vote to make the ban permanent.  Read more here.

On January 11, the entire PA Senate Republican Caucus filed the lawsuit in federal court challenging the DRBC moratorium on drilling.  Read more here.

Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), the Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, and Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) as well as the entire Senate Republican Caucus and Damascus Township in Wayne County joined in the lawsuit against DRBC.

This is the first major Republican environmental initiative of the new legislative session.

The lawsuit is being filed in support of ongoing legal efforts by Wayne County landowners to overturn the Delaware River Basin drilling moratorium dating back before 2017.  Read more here.

“The Court’s decision recognizes the important role the Delaware Riverkeeper Network plays in protecting the Delaware River, its watershed and communities. The DRBC’s recent decision to permanently ban fracking in the Delaware River Watershed confirmed how dangerous fracking is," said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. "This lawsuit by the extremist senators is about serving the fracking industry, not protecting the people of Pennsylvania or respecting the rights of future generations. Senators Yaw and Baker are violating their oath to uphold the constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and their duty to protect the health, safety and rights of all Pennsylvanians including future generations by continuing to try to force fracking on Pennsylvania communities. I and my organization will take all steps necessary to defend our watershed and communities from fake facts, ignorance of science, and the devastations of the fracking industry,”

“The Delaware Riverkeeper Network rises to the challenges that threaten the Delaware River Watershed’s communities and irreplaceable natural assets. The development of shale gas, fracking and its operations have wreaked havoc on the environment and public health everywhere it occurs," said Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director, Delaware Riverkeeper Network.  "We will defend the Delaware River Watershed from attack by the PA Senate GOP Caucus lawsuit through our intervention. This ill-informed and politically-driven lawsuit simply has no credence. The decisions made in our Watershed, including the essential ban on fracking, need to be made based on science, and what is best for the watershed and the communities, human and nonhuman, that live here and the millions of people who rely on the Delaware River for drinking water."

Click Here for a copy of the order granting the motion to intervene.  Click Here for a copy of the motion to intervene.

[Posted: February 26, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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