Thursday, April 15, 2021

Bucks, Montgomery Counties Join Opposition To PA Senate Republican Caucus Court Challenge To Delaware River Basin Commission Fracking Ban

On April 15, Sen. Steve Santarsiero (D-Bucks), along with commissioners from Bucks and Montgomery counties, announced the two counties have joined in opposition to the
PA Senate Republican Caucus court challenge to the Delaware River Basin Commission's fracking ban.

Sen. Santarsiero also shared the Senate Democrats filed their motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ suit, in which they have sought to overturn the Delaware River Basin Commission’s now-permanent ban on fracking in the Delaware Basin.

The Republican lawsuit was 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 Delaware River Basin is home to five million Pennsylvanians who are guaranteed the right to clean, safe drinking water through the Environmental Rights Amendment to the state Constitution,” said Sen. Santarsiero.  “Today, I am pleased to share that Bucks and Montgomery Counties have joined the effort, started by my  Democratic colleagues and me, to protect that right, and ensure that the Delaware River Basin Commission can continue to act within its authority to keep our waters safe from fracking.”

"We are not just here for ourselves; we are here to prepare the world for future generations,” said Diane Ellis-Marseglia, Chair of the Bucks County Board of Commissioners.  “Natural resources, including the river, need not be destroyed for our grandchildren and their grandchildren by selfish covetous acts in 2021."

“The Delaware River has been the lifeblood of Bucks County since the arrival of William Penn. It’s impossible to overstate its importance to the history, economy and culture of our county. We need to do all we can to protect it,” said Bucks County Commissioner Bob Harvie.

“The Plaintiff Counties who joined this misguided lawsuit do not speak for all counties within the Delaware River Basin – and they certainly don’t speak for the people of Bucks and Montgomery County,” said Bucks County Solicitor Joe Khan.  “We have a fundamentally different view of the constitutional right to clean water, and of our obligation to protect our natural resources.  We are proud to stand with our allies in asserting our interest in preserving the prohibition against fracking.”

"The quality of the Delaware River Basin watershed is critical to the health of 5.6 million Pennsylvanians, the sustainability of countless species, and local jobs," said Dr. Val Arkoosh, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. "This lawsuit stands to put our drinking water and economy at risk and it should be dismissed."

"Montgomery County is proud to stand with the intervener State Senators in seeking to have this lawsuit dismissed," said Kenneth E. Lawrence, Vice Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. "Protecting the Delaware River Basin from fracking is vital to the preservation of more than 13,000 square miles of drinking water that supplies the Delaware River and its tributaries."

“The DRBC has continued its steadfast commitment to protecting the Delaware River Basin, as it was charged to do, and by doing so, has helped ensure our right as Pennsylvanians to clean water,” said Sen. Santarsiero.  “Our position is strong, and I believe that constitutional right for all Pennsylvanians will be found to supersede the Republicans’ arguments for monetizing our natural resources.”


Andrew Maykuth: Democrats, Republicans Square Off In Court Over DRBC Fracking Ban

Grist: The Delaware River Basin Paradox: Why Fracking Is So Hard To Quit

PennFuture: Environmental Groups, Law Center File Brief In Opposition To PA Senate Republican Caucus Challenge To DRBC Fracking Ban

Related Articles:

-- Delaware River Basin Commission Bans Hydraulic Fracking Drilling Activities In Watershed; Will Develop Regs To Manage Drilling Wastewater

-- PA Senate Republican Caucus Files Lawsuit Against Delaware River Basin Commission Over Shale Gas Drilling Moratorium

-- 16 Members Of PA Senate Democratic Caucus Filed Motion To Intervene In PA Senate Republican Caucus Legal Challenge To Delaware River Basin Commission Natural Gas Fracking Ban

[Posted: April 15, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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