Sullivan County Democrat
O n l i n e  E d i t i o n National Award-winning, Family-run Newspaper
  NEWS ARCHIVES Established 1891 Callicoon, New York  
home  |  archives

Anya Tikka | Democrat

Highland Supervisor Andrew Boyar gets his two minutes to comment on the draft regulations, while DRBC officials and a court reporter takes down his comments.

DRBC draft gas drilling regulations irk both sides

By Anya Tikka
LIBERTY —February 25, 2011 — The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) held public hearings about its draft natural gas development regulations at Liberty High School this past Tuesday.
About 135 people came to the afternoon hearing on February 22, estimated the police officers present at the hearing, and 57 signed up to speak their allotted two minutes. Another session took place in Honesdale, PA, at the same time.
Many commentators felt DRBC is premature and failing in its task to protect the river, while several pro-drillers had the view that the proposed rules are too restrictive, in effect making it extremely difficult to drill almost anywhere.
The 500-foot setback from water was mentioned often on both sides, as was the new proposed Section 7 amendment which gives wide powers to the Executive Director, currently Carol L. Collier.
Noel van Swol, president of Sullivan-Delaware Property Owners Association, said that there are not enough jobs in the area, and gas drilling will bring a much-needed industry with jobs with starting salaries of $40 to $60,000.
The retired educator said he was tired of seeing school graduates leaving the area because there are no jobs. He said the proposed rules are too restrictive and infringe on property owners’ rights.
Highland Supervisor Andrew Boyar, speaking of “Processed Water,” (wastewater brought back to the surface after the drilling process) said that the rules need to require it to be “designated as hazardous water, and tracked every inch of the way.
“Otherwise,” he added, “any single gallon transported for treatment will mysteriously become half-a-gallon at the treatment facility. The other one-half gallon is destined for midnight disposal in to our streams, fields, rivers, roadways, and aquifers.”
Boyar added that American families have a fundamental right to clean air and water, and that the Commission was acting in an unacceptable, inexcusable manner.
Congressman Maurice Hinchey’s representative, Chris White, read out a statement from Hinchey urging the DRBC to extend its comment period and to have more hearings due to the complexity of the issue and the fact that the federal EPA study on the issue is not yet completed.
DRBC is accepting public comments electronically via or by mailed letter until March 16 to: Commission Secretary, DRBC, P.O. Box 7360, 25 State Police Drive, West Trenton, NJ 08628.

top of page  |  home  |  archives