Gas drilling hearings set for this week

The Delaware River Basin Committee will be taking its draft regulations for gas drilling to the people this week at three sites in Pennsylvania and New York. We wrote about the meeting dates and times in an earlier post:

The public hearings will be held 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the following locations:

Feb. 22 – Honesdale High School Auditorium, 459 Terrace Street, Honesdale, Pa.

Feb. 22 – Liberty High School Auditorium, 125 Buckley Street, Liberty, N.Y.

Feb. 24 – Patriots Theater at the War Memorial, 1 Memorial Drive, Trenton, N.J.

In preparation, the topic of fracking is in the air. There are several stories in the Times Herald-Record about gas drilling, and the National Resources Defense Council has a blog post about how to speak out against gas drilling to the DRBC.

The Wayne Independent has an interesting take on the DRBC's regulations. On Friday, the paper covered a meeting of Pennsylvania and New York landowners, including landowners from the counties of Sullivan and Delaware, to discuss their concerns about the new regulations, which they see as taking power from landowners:

“The Delaware River Basin Commission is creating a set of regulations, an additional set of rules to live by for Wayne County, over and above regulations that our municipalities, our county and our state already have. So they are trying to grab authority over land-use matters in Wayne County and it directly affects our ability to enjoy economic opportunities here within the county,” said Marion Schweighofer, executive director of the Northern Wayne Property Owner’s Alliance.

This week's hearings are the first of what will be a spring of gas drilling discussions. Last week, the WGXC blog reported that the Catskill Mountainkeeper has big plans for April:

[Catskill Mountainkeeper Program Director Wes] Gillingham also revealed that Catskill Mountainkeeper and other environmental groups are organizing a large-scale protest against hydraulic fracturing natural gas extraction on April 11 at New York’s capitol.