Vitali supports Delaware River Basin Commission move to ban fracking

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 25 – The Delaware River Basin Commission is working to establish regulations banning fracking in the basin, a move supported by state Rep. Greg Vitali, who testified today at a public hearing on such rules.

“I support a complete and permanent ban on fracking in the Delaware River Basin. This position is consistent with the overwhelming majority of constituents I represent and is supported by Pennsylvania’s Environmental Rights Amendment to our state constitution,” said Vitali, D-Delaware/Montgomery. “It states in part that Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the ‘common property of all the people, including generations yet to come.’

“To date, about 11,000 unconventional wells have been drilled in Pennsylvania, but there should be places where fracking does not occur, and the Delaware River basin is one of them. The watershed supplies drinking water to 15 million people, and the Delaware River has been designated as a National Wild and Scenic River and enjoys special protections.

“Fracking turns pristine forests into industrial sites with truck traffic, gravel roads, fences and spills. The river basin should not be degraded by drilling, and I applaud DRBC’s efforts in protecting it.”

DRBC has held hearings on draft amendments to its regulations and comprehensive plan to better provide for the planning, conservation, utilization, development, management and control of the basin’s water resources in connection with the hydraulic fracturing of shale and other hydrocarbon bearing formations to produce oil and gas.