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DRBC Notifies Company That Water Used For Developing Natural Gas Wells In Delaware River Basin Needs Approval

For Immediate Release

June 9, 2008

(WEST TRENTON, N.J.) -- The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) today announced that it has informed Stone Energy Corporation that it will need to apply for and receive approval from the commission before it can extract natural gas in Wayne County, Pennsylvania.

In her June 6 letter to the company, DRBC Executive Director Carol R. Collier wrote, “We understand the project to include among other things water withdrawals, the addition of chemicals to the water, the injection of the water into the ground and the recovery, storage, reuse and/or disposal of the water.”  The letter goes on to say that in accordance with the Delaware River Basin Compact and the DRBC’s Rules of Practice and Procedure, “a project sponsor may not commence any withdrawal of ground or surface water from the basin, drill any well, construct any impoundment or other associated appurtenances, discharge to the ground waters or surface waters of the basin or otherwise undertake the project until the sponsor has applied for and received approval from the commission.”

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, one of the DRBC’s five members, notified the commission about this proposal to extract gas from the Marcellus Shale formation in Clinton and Mount Pleasant townships.  The project is located within the boundaries of the Delaware River Basin.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (Pa. DEP) has advised the commission that it will be requiring all natural gas drillers to obtain DRBC or Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) approval as a condition of Pa. DEP-issued permits for projects in those two basins.  Furthermore, drillers will be required to obtain DRBC or SRBC approvals prior to the initiation of any activities.

The DRBC is in discussions with New York State, also a commission member, regarding well drilling operations in that state.

The DRBC was formed by compact in 1961 through legislation signed into law by President John F. Kennedy and the governors of the four basin states with land draining to the Delaware River (Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania).  The passage of this compact marked the first time in our nation’s history that the federal government and a group of states joined together as equal partners in a river basin planning, development, and regulatory agency.

DRBC web site: www.drbc.net


Contact: Clarke Rupert, DRBC, 609-883-9500 ext. 260, clarke.rupert@drbc.state.nj.us