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Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Public Hearing
Proposed Amendments to the Administrative Manual and Special Regulations Regarding Hydraulic Fracturing Activities; Additional Clarifying Amendments

Summary:

The Delaware River Basin Commission ("Commission") proposes to amend its Special Regulations by the addition of a section on hydraulic fracturing in shale and other rock formations, including:

  • The prohibition of high volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) in such formations;
  • Provisions related to water use for hydraulic fracturing; and
  • Provisions related to the management of produced water from hydraulic fracturing.

The Commission also proposes to amend its Administrative Manual – Rules of Practice and Procedure by the addition of project review classifications and fees related to the management of produced water from hydraulic fracturing of hydrocarbon bearing rock formations.

Minor amendments to the project review classifications unrelated to hydraulic fracturing are also proposed.

Texts of Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Proposed Rules and Proposed Guidance Document:

Public Hearing & Comment Information (Public Comment Period Open Through 5 p.m. on February 28, 2018)

Registration is required to attend any of the following public hearings. Advance registration to attend a public hearing will remain open through 5 p.m. on December 31, 2017.

Public Hearing Dates, Times, and Locations:

  • January 23, 2018: 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Performing Arts & Recreation Center (PARC) Pavilion at the Ladore Camp, Retreat and Conference Center, 287 Owego Turnpike, Waymart, PA 18472; Register to attend: http://bit.ly/2ApxOB1

  • January 23, 2018: 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Performing Arts & Recreation Center (PARC) Pavilion at the Ladore Camp, Retreat and Conference Center, 287 Owego Turnpike, Waymart, PA 18472; Register to attend: http://bit.ly/2AgHtsV

  • January 25, 2018: 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia Airport, 4509 Island Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19153; Register to attend: http://bit.ly/2AIPh7P 

  • January 25, 2018: 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia Airport, 4509 Island Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19153; Register to attend: http://bit.ly/2ip6Pyn

Please Note:

  • Shortly after advance registration closes on December 31, 2017, those who have registered online to attend will be afforded an opportunity to request speaking time.
  • Elected government officials and their staff will have the opportunity to identify themselves when registering to attend a hearing.
  • Requests for exceptions to online registration to attend a hearing may be addressed to: Commission Secretary, DRBC, P.O. Box 7360, West Trenton, NJ 08628.
  • The public is encouraged to download and read the complete Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Public Hearing (pdf 514 KB) for more information.

The Commission appreciates the participation and input from the public on this important matter. In order to ensure that scheduled public hearings meet the objectives of the Commission and the interested public in a safe and effective manner, it is essential that all DRBC Public Hearing Procedures (pdf 385 KB) are understood and followed. The Commission’s policies related to speaker conduct, audience conduct, safety, security, signs, placards, and banners will be in effect at these public hearings.

Written Comments:

  • Will be accepted through 5:00 p.m. on February 28, 2018;
  • Should be submitted - along with any attachments - through the Commission’s online comments webpage at http://dockets.drbc.commentinput.com/;
  • All attachments submitted with written comments should be provided in searchable formats, preferably in .pdf searchable text. Notably, a "picture scan" of a document may not result in searchable text;
  • Nondigitized voluminous materials such as books, journals or collected letters/petitions will not be accepted. Digital submissions of these, as well as articles and websites must be accompanied by a statement containing citations to the specific findings or conclusions the commenter wishes to reference. Email, fax, postal or hand delivery are not acceptable means of submitting materials; and
  • Written comments/printed materials will not be considered or included in the rulemaking record if received via other methods, such as email, fax, postal/delivery services, or hand delivery, unless an express exception has been granted based on lack of access to the web-based system.
    • Requests for exceptions to submitting comments via the web-based system may be addressed to: Commission Secretary, DRBC, P.O. Box 7360, West Trenton, NJ 08628

Written comments will receive the same consideration as oral comments.

Substance of Comments:

The Commission expressly seeks comment on the effects the proposed rules may have within the basin on: water availability, the control and abatement of water pollution, economic development, the conservation and protection of drinking water supplies, the conservation and protection of aquatic life, the conservation and protection of water quality in Special Protection Waters, and the protection, maintenance, and improvement of water quantity and quality basinwide. Comment is also requested on whether use of base fluids other than water for HVHF is practical within the Basin and if so, how it should be addressed in these rules, and on any alternatives to the proposed rules that the commenters would like the Commission to consider, as well as on draft guidance published simultaneously with the rules for determining background concentrations of certain pollutants. The Commission welcomes and will consider any other comments that concern the potential effects of the draft rules on the conservation, utilization, development, management, and control of the water and related resources of the Delaware River Basin. Comments on matters not within this scope may not be considered.

 

The public is encouraged to download and read the complete Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Public Hearing (pdf 514 KB) for more information.

 

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Notice Originally Posted/Dated: November 30, 2017