The Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the nation’s leading environmental organizations, sent a letter to the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) this week detailing how the proposed Gibbstown fracked gas export facility is likely violating federal, state and DRBC water quality rules governing toxic PCB pollution of the Delaware River. The Gibbstown location sits atop an old DuPont site, which has historically been one of the top 10 biggest PCB loading point-sources in the Delaware Estuary. NRDC sent the letter to the Governors of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, which make up the DRBC along with the Army Corps of Engineers.
The letter points to the need to further examine the issue before the DRBC votes on the project. This comes days before the next DRBC meeting on December 9th, when the issue could be voted on. Other organizations, as well as actor and advocate Mark Ruffalo, joined in raising concern about the clean water violations. This comes as over a hundred organizations, health professionals and more than 100,000 people have signed a petition to stop the Gibbstown facility.
The letter states, ”As set forth in this letter, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) believes that the existing facility, known as the Gibbstown Logistics Center, is in violation of clean water laws and regulations. Specifically, based on the record for this proposal, we believe this facility is out of compliance with federal, state and Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) laws governing the implementation of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-established Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for toxic PCBs in the section of the Delaware River where this terminal would be located. The Gibbstown facility is also out of compliance with an explicit 2017 DRBC approval condition relating to PCBs and TMDLs.”
Actor and advocate Mark Ruffalo, who lives along the Delaware River, said, “The Delaware River provides the drinking water for 15 million people. The Delaware River Basin Commission and Governors Murphy, Carney, Cuomo and Wolf must not allow this dangerous fracked gas export facility to proceed in violation of the Clean Water Act.”
Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter Director Roger Downs said, “The Delaware River Basin Commission’s mandate is to protect the Delaware River, not big polluters. Rubber stamping the proposed Gibbstown deep-water port LNG terminal would be an abdication of the commissions responsibility and lead to further degradation of an already imperiled river system.”
“The Delaware River Basin Commission must take into serious consideration this issue of PCBs which are highly carcinogenic and are banned in the United States because of how they poison our water, our environment and the public’s health,” said Dr. Kathleen Nolan, co-founder of Concerned Health Professionals of New York.
Ramsay Adams, Executive Director of Catskill Mountainkeeper, “It’s imperative that the governors of DE, NJ, NY, and PA put the breaks on this rushed, Trump-backed project. While Trump doesn’t care about the Clean Water Act, 15 million people who get their drinking water from the Delaware River do.”
Julia Walsh, Campaign Director of Frack Action, said, “It’s time for all of us to protect the quality of our water for present and future generations. The Clean Water Act was enacted for this purpose and must be upheld.”