Regulators take step to ban Delaware River gas fracking

NEWTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A regulatory commission that oversees water quality in the Delaware River and its tributaries has taken an initial step to permanently ban natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

The five-member Delaware River Basin Commission on Wednesday approved a measure to begin the lengthy process of enacting a formal ban on drilling and fracking, the technique that’s spurred a U.S. production boom in shale gas and oil.

Representatives of the governors of New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware voted yes on the measure. New Jersey’s representative abstained. The federal government voted no.

The resolution approved by the commission says that fracking “presents risks, vulnerabilities and impacts to surface and ground water resources across the country.”

The Delaware watershed supplies Philadelphia and half of New York City with drinking water.

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