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DRBC Announces Public Hearings On Draft Natural Gas Regulations

For Immediate Release

January 24, 2011

(WEST TRENTON, N.J.) -- Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) Executive Director Carol R. Collier today announced the public hearing schedule to receive oral testimony on the proposed natural gas development rulemaking.

The public hearings will be held 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the following locations:

Feb. 22 – Honesdale High School Auditorium, 459 Terrace Street, Honesdale, Pa.
Feb. 22 – Liberty High School Auditorium, 125 Buckley Street, Liberty, N.Y.
Feb. 24 – Patriots Theater at the War Memorial, 1 Memorial Drive, Trenton, N.J.

Registration for those who wish to testify will begin one hour prior to the beginning of each hearing session (12:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.). Please note that the registration process will be on a first-come basis and it is estimated that approximately 75 persons will have the opportunity to present oral testimony within the allotted time period for each hearing session. Oral testimony will be limited to two minutes per person, but can be supplemented with written comments submitted at the hearing or prior to the written comments deadline. Oral testimony and written comments will receive the same consideration by the Commissioners prior to any action on the proposed regulations. Elected government officials will be afforded the opportunity to present their two-minute oral testimony at the beginning of the hearing if they contact Paula Schmitt at (609) 883-9500 x224 prior to the date of the hearing.

The DRBC will strictly adhere to the maximum capacity numbers established by local officials for each hearing location (990 Honesdale H.S., 750 Liberty H.S., and 1,833 Patriots Theater).

Written comments will be accepted through the close of business March 16, 2011 by two methods only:

1)  Electronic submission using a web-based form available on the DRBC web site (preferred method); or
2)  Paper 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. As previously noted, paper submissions also will be accepted at the public hearings.

Due to the expected volume, 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 March 16, 2011 along with the transcript of the oral testimony presented at the hearings 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 at a future 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.

The DRBC is a federal/interstate government agency responsible for managing the water resources within the 13,539 square-mile Delaware River Basin. The five Commission members are the Governors of the basin states (Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania) and the Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ North Atlantic Division, who represents the federal government.

Additional information, including a fact sheet and the text of the proposed regulations, can be found on the Commission’s web site at www.drbc.net.


Contact: Clarke Rupert, DRBC, 609-883-9500 ext. 260, clarke.rupert@drbc.state.nj.us
Kate O'Hara, DRBC, 609-883-9500 ext. 205, katharine.o'hara@drbc.state.nj.us