The City of Philadelphia will not be able to escape the effects of gas drilling in the Delaware River Watershed. 36% of the Delaware River Watershed is underlain with Marcellus shale, including the upper reaches of both the Delaware River and its major tributary, the Schuylkill River, which join together in Philadelphia and supply 1.5 million people in the Philadelphia region with their water. Pollution, water depletion, the transformation of upstream watersheds to industrial conditions will all combine to degrade downstream water quality. Philadelphia’s intake is the furthest south and acutely vulnerable to the effects of inadequate fresh water to meet its requirements to supply clean drinking water.
What is Philadelphia City Council doing about it? Councilman Jones has called a Hearing to examine the potential impacts of natural gas drilling on the Delaware River and Philadelphia. An impressive roster of experts will present testimony, including Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper.
Who: The Committees on Transportation & Utilities and the Environment
When: Tuesday, September 28th 10:00AM — 2:00 PM
Where: City Council Room 400, City Hall (enter at southeast door of building)
What: “Marcellus Shale” Philadelphia Council Hearings
Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. will hold “Marcellus Shale” hearings on Tuesday, September 28th at 10am, in City Hall to the joint committees of Transportation & Utilities and the Environment. These hearings will examine the environmental and economic impacts for Philadelphia of hydraulic drilling (Fracking) onto Marcellus Shale .The Marcellus Shale formation is the one of the largest natural gas reserves in the country.
There are many unresolved questions regarding this natural state possession, and the paramount issue for Philadelphia, as the “down-stream” community is the safety of our drinking water. We, Philadelphians, can not isolate ourselves from the economic and environmental impacts that affect the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.. This hearing will carefully explore and balance all the issues; job creation and environmental preservation yet my focus is to protect Philadelphia, first and foremost.
Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr.
The Marcellus Shale hearings will serve as the foreground to create safeguard policy for Philadelphia’s water supply. There will be several panels to address the concerns of Philadelphians, from regulation, scientific experts, the input of utility and water commisioners, as well as those who represent the drilling industry. Several council members are weighing in their concerns as well as the benefits and direction of Philadelphia legislation for Marcellus Shale.
This is a very important issue, that has potential implications on our environment and water supply, council must closely examine this issue before haste decisions are made forward.
Councilman William Greenlee
Further study of fracking is needed to insure that ground water and other environmental resources are protected. We should also explore more environmentally responsible methods of extracting natural gas from the Marcellus Shale.
Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell
As the author of the first resolution calling for no fracking in the Delaware River Basin until an environmental impact study is completed, I see this hearing as an essential next step in providing the public with the information necessary to form an educated decision on this important environmental issue.
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown
Marcellus Shale natural gas offers significant advantages for Philadelphians over petroleum (cleaner-burning and less dependence on foreign energy), but we need to make certain that the fracking process does not irreparably damage our natural resources.
Councilman Frank Rizzo
Invited Witnesses include: Delaware River Basin Commission, Philadelphia Gas Works, Philadelphia Water Department, Protection Our Waters, Dr. Engelder, Dr. Boufadel, Marcellus Shale Coalition, Academy of Natural Sciences, National Fish & Wildlife, Senator Casey, Congressman Sestak, Regional and National Environmental Protection Agency commissioners, Water Keeper Alliance, and the Department of Environmental Protection.
September 28th is our time to be in direct contact with the experts to create the best supported by evidence legislation and regulations. Government is the job of risk-management and secured implementation and direction. As a councilmember it is my obligation to promote legislation that will benefit our region, instills exceptional protocols for our city and to be on the forefront of what is best for Philadelphia.
Councilman Jones, Jr.