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Layer: HUC 02040103 (ID: 0)

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Description: A breakthrough in water resources management occurred in 1961 when President Kennedy and the governors of Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York for the first time signed concurrent compact legislation into law creating a regional body with the force of law to oversee a unified approach to managing a river system without regard to political boundaries. The members of this regional body - the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) - include the four basin state governors and the Division Engineer, North Atlantic Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who serves as the federal representative. Commission programs include water quality protection, water supply allocation, regulatory review (permitting), water conservation initiatives, watershed planning, drought management, flood loss reduction, and recreation. Much of the new drilling interest taking place in northeastern Pennsylvania and southern New York is targeted at reaching the natural gas found in the Marcellus Shale formation, which underlies about 36 percent of the Delaware River Basin. Because the Marcellus Shale is considered a tight geologic formation, natural gas deposits were not previously thought to be practically and economically mineable using traditional techniques. New horizontal drilling and extraction methods, coupled with higher energy costs, have given energy companies reason to take a new interest in mining the natural gas deposits within the Marcellus Shale. In connection with natural gas drilling, the commission has identified three major areas of concern: 1.Gas drilling projects in the Marcellus Shale or other formations may have a substantial effect on the water resources of the basin by reducing the flow in streams and/or aquifers used to supply the significant amounts of fresh water needed in the natural gas mining process. 2.On-site drilling operations may potentially add, discharge or cause the release of pollutants into the ground water or surface water. 3.The recovered "frac water" must be treated and disposed of properly. DRBC is identifying methods, geospatial data, and other information to support decision making on how best to oversee the Marcellus Shale drilling in the Delaware River Basin (DRB).

Copyright Text: U S Geological Survey

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