October 26, 2023

Watson Coleman Leads Bipartisan Effort to Defeat Effort to Defund Delaware River Cleanup

Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) led a bipartisan effort to defeat an amendment by Congressman Scott Perry to defund the Delaware River Basin Commission. The amendment would have defunded the DRBC in response to its work protecting the Delaware River basin from high volume hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.”

Since its creation by President Kennedy in 1961, the Delaware River Basin Commission has helped clean up what was once one of the most polluted rivers in the country. 

“Due in large part to the passionate, dedicated work of the Delaware River Basin Commission, the Delaware River is an unmitigated success story. Migratory fish have returned, and people can now safely boat and wade and fish in the river and its tributaries. Even bald eagles have returned and winter along the river,” said Rep. Watson Coleman. “To turn back and end the cleanup and stewardship managed by the DRBC would cause tremendous harm to the communities from New York to Delaware.” 

Rep. Marc Molinaro (NY-19) said, “The Delaware River Basin Commission protects clean drinking water and improves climate resiliency, flood mitigation, and wildlife protection. I will never hesitate to vote against a measure that threatens these undertakings – and I proudly work across party lines to do so.”

“The Delaware River is an important resource for recreation, tourism, industry and water supply. For more than 50 years, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) has effectively managed these resources,” said U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-08), vice chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition. “We have a responsibility to ensure clean water for our Commonwealth and as a Member of the House Appropriations Committee, I will work with my colleagues across the aisle to defeat any efforts to defund the DRBC.” 

The Delaware River supports 600,000 jobs and $20 Billion in industrial activity. Over 14 million Americans rely on the Delaware for drinking, agriculture, and industrial usage including residents of New York City and Philadelphia. 

The Perry Amendment failed in the House by a vote of 265 to 156 with 60 Republicans joining all Democrats.