HB 827 Passes in Committee and Overcomes First Hurdle
House Bill 827 passed the PA House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee by a vote of 16 to 9. This represents an important first step for the citizens of the Upper Delaware River Basin, who have been denied the right to benefit from the use of their property by the DRBC.
Senate Bill 305 was received by the PA Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on February 19, 2019 and has not yet been debated or voted on. Both bills address the unequal determination of landowner rights across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The passage of HB 827 represents a win in the battle for landowner rights. We have not yet won the war being waged on the landowners of the Upper Delaware River Basin, but this is progress. The bill will go to the full house for debate and hopefully pass. Even if Governor Wolf vetoes the bill, it will make a powerful statement and make it more difficult for Wolf to support a ban. Now is the time for landowners to become actively involved in ... Read More
March 20, 2019 PA Environmental/Energy Committee Hearing Regarding DRBC
On March 20th the PA House Environmental Resources Committee held a hearing regarding the overreach of the Delaware River Basin Commission. Representative Jonathan Fritz provided the background for the reason that both he and Senator Lisa Baker view the actions taken by the DRBC against the landowners of the Upper Delaware River Basin represent a taking of property without just compensation.
Senator Lisa Baker’s DRBC takings bill, has been reintroduced as SB305, the “Delaware River Basin Commission Eminent Domain Activity Act." Rep. Jonathan Fritz introduced the bill on the House side as HB 827 to bring some ... Read More
Forty-First Annual Ag Day
UDRBC was pleased to participate in the Forty-First Annual Ag Day sponsored by The Penn State Extension and held at Honesdale High School on February 18th. Billed as “an opportunity for the local agricultural communities of Wayne County and surrounding areas to come together and learn about new and innovative technologies, new services, new product lines, new machinery, and updated programs and services available from local area agribusinesses, associations, and industry supporters,” Wayne County Ag Day was the perfect place for UDRBC to show its support for the local farmers, farm families, and businesses.
The UDRBC display table included applications for a $1000 scholarship available to a high school graduating senior pursuing a degree at a college or trade school in the field of agriculture or a related field. Brochures explaining the mission of UDRBC and advance notices of their Sweep the Delaware campaign in May were also available. Groups such as FFA and 4H were encouraged to bring ten or more people to the river clean up effort and receive a $150 donation ... Read More
UDRBC Pushing Back Against Regulatory Injustice
The House State Government Committee (HSGC) of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives held hearings on June 11, 2018 on the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC).
If there was any doubt at the beginning of the hearing, called to order by Chairman Daryl Metcalfe (R-12th) and opening remarks by Representative Jonathan Fritz (R-111th), it became clear quickly this was not going to be a good day for the DRBC.
The Ranking Member, Mathew Branford (D-70th), seemed oblivious to the hearing that was taking place around him as he decided to confront the first witness, Wayne County Commissioner Joseph W. Adams. Following what could only be described as a series of patronizing questions directed at him, Adams expertly and professionally slammed the door on Branford, who never made the same mistake with the other witnesses.
The next witness was Betty Sutliff, whose ... Read More
PA Senate Bill 1189
Send Sen. Baker A Thank You! A simple "Thank you for Senate Bill 1189" will be a great encouragement to her.
Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20) has launched an effort to require compensation for landowners in the Delaware River Basin, including those in Wayne and Pike counties, who are in jeopardy of losing valuable property rights to a pending ban on natural gas drilling.
Since 2009, landowners have been living under a moratorium that has prevented them from realizing the economic benefits accruing to those in other parts of the state. Last year, Gov. Tom Wolf announced his support for a permanent ban, and the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) is expected to make a final decision later this year.
Calling the situation indefensible, today Baker announced the introduction of legislation, SB 1189, declaring such action will constitute a taking that must be paid for by the DRBC.
"In my judgment, such deprivation of property rights constitutes a taking, just the same as if the property ... Read More
2018 Agricultural Scholarship Awarded To Tim Brown
A large part of Wayne County's heritage is farm related, and the preservation of the farms here for future generations is of utmost importance. That is why the UDRBC has chosen to award a scholarship to a graduating senior who has displayed an interest in farming and wishes to continue his/her education in agriculture or an agriculture-related field.
The UDRBC awarded its 2018 Agricultural Scholarship to Tim Brown. Presenting the check to Tim Brown is Ned Lang, UDRBC President who is joined by Betty Sutliff, UDRBC Scholarship Committee Chair and Representative Jonathan Fritz (R-111th).
Who may apply?
If you have a demonstrated commitment to farming, are presently a Honesdale High School (HHS) student living in Wayne County, participated or are presently participating in 4-H programs and are enrolled in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) Programs at HHS, then we would like to hear from you!
UDRBC Scholarship Committee
C/o Betty Sutliff
P.O. Box 186
Damascus, PA 18415
Spring Seminar, Natural Gas Exploration and Development (NGED) – The Industry Today
The Upper Delaware River Basin Citizens (UDRBC) held its Spring Seminar, Natural Gas Exploration and Development (NGED) – The Industry Today on May 17th at the Narrowsburg Inn, Narrowsburg, NY.
The full day event, where the progress of the industry today and the outlook for natural gas were discussed, featured Tom Murphy, Director of Penn State’s Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research, Bill desRosiers, External Affairs Coordinator for Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation and Tom Shepstone, Owner of Shepstone Management Company, Inc.
Speaking to a packed venue, State Representative Jonathan Fritz (R-111th) opened the seminar with his expert analysis regarding the evolution of the multibillion dollar natural gas industry in Pennsylvania, the success in Harrisburg with H.R. 515 and the upcoming hearings of the House State Government Committee, which will finally expose the overreach of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to the public.
The venue was filled with land owners and officials from the region, including Brian Smith, Chairman of the Wayne County Board of Commissioners, who shared his perspective on this issue and expressed the need to have access to this economic engine, which will be a tremendous boost not just for ... Read More
The DRBC Is Engaged in High Stakes, High-Tech Colonialism and wants to control your land!
Summarizing their studies in September 2017, the SRBC concluded: "the Commission’s remote water quality monitoring network has not detected discernible impacts on the quality of the Basin’s water resources as a result of natural gas development".Read More
House Resolution 515 Passed 101 to 83
Thanks to Jonathan Fritz, Our state representatives have heard our voice and responded to the threat of the sovereignty of PA state law.
Rep. Brian Cutler (R-Lancaster) nailed the argument by saying on the House floor that the Commission's action is an end-run around PA lawmakers who should be making those types of environmental decisions.
Here is a link to how your representatives voted on this resolution. Please send a letter of THANKS to those who have supported your rights and let those who voted against your rights to benefit from your property that you oppose their viewpoint.
Support Rep Fritz's efforts of protecting our rights by writing him a letter of thanks.Read More