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Trailer Talk's Frack Talk: New York Attorney General Threatens to Sue Feds If They Don't Study Impact of Fracking

"We can't afford to get this wrong even once." Delaware River Basin residents talk about their fracking concerns.

On Monday, April 18 New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman demanded that the Feds commit to a federal study of the safety impacts of drilling and fracking in the Delaware River Basin or he'll sue.

"Both the law and common sense dictate that the federal government must fully assess the impact of its actions before opening the door to gas fracking in New York," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "New Yorkers are correctly concerned about fracking's potential dangers to their environment, health and communities, and I will use the full authority of my office, including aggressive legal action, to ensure the federal government is forced to address those concerns."  

The public comment period ended on April 15 for the Delaware River Basin Commission's (DRBC) proposed regulations for natural gas drilling. On April 14th environmental and community groups representing residents of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware hand-delivered a record-breaking 35,000 letters to the DRBC in Trenton to tell the DRBC to extend a moratorium and protect the Delaware, which that provides drinking water for over 9 million people, from from gas drilling.

Do you know where your water comes from and what impact un-regulated gas drilling could have on it?

Trailer Talk's Sabrina Artel spoke with concerned citizens and activist groups at the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) meeting and public hearing last July 14th in West Trenton, New Jersey at the Volunteer Fire House where hundreds of people gathered from both sides of the issue. There was a strong presence from Friends of Natural Gas and other pro-drilling groups who consist of pro-drilling landowners and leaseholders as well as landowners opposed to drilling. Buses of both pro- and anti-fracking gas drilling groups packed the firehouse for this volatile meeting about gas drilling in the watershed.

People traveled for hours coming from Artel's neighborhood in the Sullivan County Catskills, Delaware and Broome county, the Finger Lakes, NYC, parts of NJ and from all over PA, including Wayne County, the Damascus Township and Philadelphia. As water has no boundaries and the Delaware River travels through these three states supplying millions with drinking water, the decisions of the DRBC are critical.

Below is the transcript from the rally (and you can listen to it here) for a gas drilling moratorium in the Delaware River Basin organized by the Delaware River Keeper Network and numerous other environmental and grassroots groups. Artel spoke with participants of the rally including Pat Carullo of the Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, Sullivan County NY residents including actor Mark Ruffalo, members of Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, neighbors traveling on buses hosted by Catskill Mountainkeeper, recordings from statements made to the DRBC and more.  

If the current draft regulations are implemented, Marcellus Shale gas extraction will put the water that is used by millions of people at risk. Here are some of the many voices speaking out to protect our water.

Sabrina Artel: With Trailer Talk's " Frack Talk -- the Marcellus Shale Water Project," we're exploring the impact of natural gas drilling and fracking on our water resources, and the issues being debated in our neighborhoods throughout the United States and globally. We're facing a complete shift in the shale regions as the largest-ever concentration of gas lies beneath our feet. Who are we, and what decisions will we make?

As I traveled to Trenton, New Jersey, I imagined George Washington at the Battle of Trenton in 1776 thinking about the American Dream -- thinking about our collective rights and about our individual rights. Hundreds gathered at a local fire hall for the Delaware River Basin Commission's public meeting and hearing to determine what would be allowed in this Marcellus Shale gas play. It was announced during the meeting that permission would be granted to Hess Corporation to drill two exploratory wells in Wayne County, Pennsylvania.

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