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Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC Withdraws Cutrone Surface Water Application

Application Withdrawn October 20, 2009

Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC has notified the commission that it is rescinding its application for approval of a surface water withdrawal project to supply a maximum of 29.99 mg/30 days of water for the applicant's exploration and development of natural gas wells in the State of New York and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Surface water was proposed to be withdrawn from the West Branch of the Delaware River at a location known as the Cutrone Site in Buckingham Township, Wayne County, Pennsylvania. The proposed project would have been located in the Delaware River Watershed within the drainage area of the section of the non-tidal Delaware River known as the Upper Delaware, which is designated as Special Protection Waters.

In its October 20, 2009 letter to DRBC Chairman Mark Klotz, who represents New York Governor David Paterson on the commission, Chesapeake wrote ". . . we have decided to withdraw the application and reasssess our approach to the situation. We believe this is preferable to continuing with hearings and further public debate about the project at this time."

View October 20, 2009 Letter (pdf 304 KB)

Background

The commission held a public hearing on an initial draft docket (permit) at its July 15, 2009 business meeting in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and heard testimony from approximately 40 witnesses. Voluminous written comment was submitted on or before the July 15 hearing.

In light of the high level of public interest in the project, the commission took no action on the docket on July 15, and on that date it extended the written comment period through July 29, 2009. Approximately 1,200 written comments (excluding petitions) were received on the draft docket by the close of the comment period.

After review and consideration of these comments, the commission and staff developed a revised draft docket, which was posted on the DRBC web site on September 11, 2009. The public hearing originally scheduled for September 23, 2009 to receive testimony on the revised draft docket was postponed at the request of Chesapeake Appalachia to allow the public and the applicant more time to consider the revised draft docket. In its September 15 postponement request, Chesapeake said it was seeking additional time "to review and consider the changes reflected in the revised draft docket for the project" published on the commission's web site on September 11. Chesapeake stated that it "has not had adequate time to review the changes reflected in the revised draft docket, particularly with respect to the proposed pass-by flow."