Press Release May 31, 2011

National Parks Group Supports Environmental Impact Study to Identify Harmful Impacts Caused by Hydraulic Fracturing

We must ensure natural gas development does not come at the expense of our national parks and the health of park visitors

Statement by Cinda Waldbuesser NPCA Senior Program Manager, Pennsylvania Field Office and Oliver Spellman NPCA Program Manager, Northeast Regional Office

“With 35 national parks within or near the Marcellus Shale formation, the potential impacts to our national treasures are great. We are pleased with today’s announcement by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, demanding that a study be conducted to identify the environmental and health impacts caused by hydraulic fracturing before the Delaware River Basin Commission finalizes regulations that would lift the moratorium on drilling.

“Collectively, the Delaware River park sites draw 5.4 million annual visitors–providing exceptional recreational opportunities and drinking water to nearly 17 million people. One of the cleanest rivers in the country, the river is also home to enticing waterfalls and diverse wildlife that include bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and black bear.

“With approximately 15,000 – 18,000 natural gas wells anticipated in the Delaware River Basin alone, the impacts to park resources including water quality and quantity, air quality, and wildlife migration and habitat, could be catastrophic. National parks facing the most immediate risks include the Upper Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River, Middle Delaware National Scenic River and Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area.

“The economic benefits of natural gas development must not compromise the long-term benefits of protecting water quality and preserving our national parks, which are already economic generators for local communities. Working together, we must ensure that our national parks are protected and preserved for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.”


About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit