New drilling regs may be coming to Delaware Basin
River Council reorganizes
NARROWSBURG, NY — Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) Executive Director Steve Tambini was on hand at the meeting of the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) on February 2, and he was questioned following his report. Hancock’s Fred Peckham, citing a “special meeting” involving the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and DRBC, asked if a long-awaited revision of the 2011 natural gas drilling regulations was in fact underway.
Tambini confirmed that there had been a meeting and that there had been DEP reporting on it, but declined to make any further comment. “You’ll have to find out when the public finds out,” he said
Another source familiar with the process confirmed Tambini’s remarks, adding that DRBC is now editing the new regulations, which may be forthcoming in the near future, to be followed by new public hearings and opportunity for public comment.
As it had in the commission’s work plan for 2015-17, the DRBC Water Resources Program for FY 2017-19 includes a special section for “natural gas and related infrastructure.” That section is repeated word for word in the new program document, which is on the agenda of the scheduled February 15 commission public hearing and states:
“…DRBC staff will support the development and advancement of natural gas regulations and related infrastructure guidance consistent with leadership on this matter at the Commissioner level... staff will continue to review, revise or redraft, as necessary, the previously published draft Natural Gas Regulations. Staff will provide support to the process leading up to an action on the regulations by the Commissioners.”
Before Tambini’s remarks, Rita Greier sat in the back of the room beaming as her husband, James Greier, took the oath of office and became the first delegate of the Town of Fremont to chair the UDC.
The council habitually moves the position of chair among municipalities from New York to Pennsylvania annually, and this year would have been PA’s turn, but the nominating committee instead decided it was time to fix the unintended omission and named the former Fremont supervisor. Fremont’s current supervisor, George Conklin, administered the oath at the swearing-in ceremony.
Another first-time officer sworn in last week was Town of Deerpark Councilman David Dean, who will serve as UDC vice-chairman. In contrast, Berlin Township’s Al Henry was returned as secretary-treasurer, his third term in the past four years, broken only by a 2015 stint as chairman.
With the regular ceremonies in February, the council’s agenda is usually light, more so this time as there were no committee minutes to discuss. Weather forced cancellations of the three sub-committees, resulting in their being jammed into the hour prior to regular meeting.
The UDC has operated since 1988 under a cooperative agreement partnership with the National Park Service to oversee the coordinated implementation of the River Management Plan for the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, which the U.S. Congress designated in 1978 as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
For more information, visit www.upperdelawarecouncil.org or call 845/252-3022.