As discussed previously, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) proposed regulations that would govern natural gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin. New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced yesterday that New York plans to sue the federal government if it does not conduct an environmental review prior to approving any regulations that would allow natural gas drilling in the Basin. Schneiderman contends that a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review of the environmental impacts of drilling must be conducted before any regulations are finalized.
In May 2009 and June 2010, DRBC Executive Director Carol R. Collier subjected production wells and then exploratory wells to preconstruction review by the Commission. In May 2010, the Commission announced a moratorium on granting approvals for those wells until adoption of regulations. If the regulations are delayed, development of natural gas resources would be frozen until regulations are adopted.