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Attempt For More Stringent Review Of Pipelines In Delaware River Fails

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Environmental groups were disappointed when the Delaware River Basin Commission denied a petition to regulate natural gas pipelines in the water shed.

The DRBC has the power to regulate pipelines but has never exercised it.

A dramatic increase in the number of pipeline proposals prompted the Delaware Riverkeeper to file a legal petition, asking the DRBC to begin using its power, but spokesman Clark Rupert says that’s part of what the commission is considering as it develops rules for natural gas development.

“They believe that this ongoing process would be the appropriate mechanism to address this issue,” says Rupert.

Delaware Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum says she has little faith in that process since the DRBC denied the petition without any deliberation or any public input.

“It was political deal making behind closed doors of the worst kind,” she says.

Van Rossum says environmental groups will take further legal action to make sure pipelines get adequate review before approval.