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Delaware Riverkeeper Network v. DRBC & Stone Energy Corp.

Delaware Riverkeeper Network and the Delaware Riverkeeper challenged Delaware River Basin Commission’s (DRBC) decision-making process, alleging that DRBC failed to comply with both the procedural and substantive regulatory requirements of the DRBC Water Code and Rules of Procedure and Practice when it did not require Stone Energy to include certain mandatory data and information in its water withdrawal application intended to support future shale gas drilling and fracking. As a result the Delaware Riverkeeper Network alleges that the DRBC did not satisfy its duty to ensure that strict anti-degradation water quality standards applicable to the West Branch of the Lackawaxen would be met. After several years of pursuing this legal challenge counsel for Stone Energy Corporation notified the parties that its client was relinquishing the docket in dispute, an action which essentially mooted the litigation. This undoubtedly is a victory for the River, as our primary request for relief was for an injunction preventing Stone Energy from withdrawing water from the West Branch of the Lackawaxen River for gas drilling purposes. The relinquishment of the docket ensures that future water withdrawals pursuant to this docket will not occur.