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Summary: The Commission will hold a public hearing to receive comments on proposed amendments to Section 2.5.5 of the Water Code (21 NYCRR §§ 890.11 and 890.12), relating to the Coordinated Operation of Lower Basin and Hydroelectric Reservoirs During a Basinwide Drought. The Commission proposes to amend and codify changes to the Comprehensive Plan and Water Code effected by Resolution No. 2002-33, approved in November 2002 by the Commission and the parties to the U.S. Supreme Court Decree in New Jersey v. New York, 347 U.S. 995 (1954) (“Decree Parties”). The amendments are for purposes of clarification and accuracy and to better ensure that the benefits of the changes effected by Resolution No. 2002-33 are achieved without compromising habitat protection goals. Resolution No. 2002-33, which was not codified, in part amended the Comprehensive Plan and Water Code relating to the utilization of Lake Wallenpaupack during drought watch, drought warning and drought operations.

Fourth, the November 2002 amendments inserted language at Section 2.5.5 of the Water Code stating that “[d]uring ‘drought’ and ‘drought warning’ operations . . . , “the power companies shall release water only in accordance with Commission direction.” This statement is proposed to be changed to reflect the Commission’s intention that “[d]uring ‘drought’ and ‘drought warning’ operations as defined in Figure 1 of Section 2.5.3.A. of the Water Code, releases from Lake Wallenpaupack shall be made only in accordance with Commission direction.” In a related amendment, a new sentence is proposed to be added to Section 2.5.5 addressing operation of the Mongaup reservoir system by the Commission, which may take place only under more limited circumstances. The proposed provision reads, “After issuance of a Conservation Order by the Commission, power generation releases from the Mongaup reservoir system shall be made only in accordance with Commission direction.” This statement restores the rule governing drought operation of the Mongaup system reservoirs to the rule in effect before the November 2002 amendments.

Dates: The public hearing will be held during the Commission’s regularly scheduled business meeting on January 19, 2005 at 1:30 P.M. Persons wishing to testify at the hearing are asked to register in advance with the Commission by phoning 609-883-9500, ext. 224. Submission of written comments by January 14, 2005 would be appreciated, but written comments will be accepted through the close of the public hearing on Wednesday, January 19, 2005.

Addresses: The public hearing will be held in the Goddard Room of the Commission’s office building at 25 State Police Drive in West Trenton, New Jersey. Written comments should be addressed to the Commission Secretary as follows: by e-mail to; by fax to 609-883-9522; by U.S. Mail to Commission Secretary, DRBC, P.O. Box 7360, West Trenton, NJ 08628-0360; or by overnight mail to Commission Secretary, DRBC, 25 State Police Drive, West Trenton, NJ 08628-0360.

Further Information, Contact: The full text of the proposed resolution, the text of Resolution No. 2002-33, and the text of the sections of the Water Code as amended by both Resolution No. 2002-33 and the proposed resolution, are posted on the Commission’s web site, Please contact Commission Secretary Pamela Bush, 609-883-9500 ext. 203, with questions about the proposed action.