DELAWARE RIVER BASIN COMMISSION
NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULE MAKING AND PUBLIC HEARING
Proposed Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and Water Code Relating to a Flexible Flow Management Plan for Operation of the New York City Delaware Basin Reservoirs
Summary: The Delaware River Basin Commission (Commission) will hold a public hearing and accept written comment on a proposal to amend the agency's Comprehensive Plan and Water Code to establish a Flexible Flow Management Program (FFMP) for the New York City Delaware Basin Reservoirs ("City Delaware Reservoirs") for multiple objectives, including, among others, (a) water supply and drought mitigation; (b) management of the reservoir tailwater fisheries and other habitat needs, and (c) spill mitigation. The current reservoir releases program, which was established by Resolution No. 2004-3 in April of 2004, will expire on May 31, 2007. The current spill mitigation program, established by Resolution No. 2006-18, also will expire on May 31, 2007. The Commission also will accept comment on alternative reservoir management strategies that may be adopted in the event that consensus on the proposed FFMP is not reached. The alternative reservoir releases options to be considered are (1) extending the current reservoir releases program or (2) reinstating a previous drought operating plan. Either option would be considered in combination with a seasonal spill mitigation program or an annual spill mitigation program for the three reservoirs. The releases program adopted in the event consensus is not reached on the FFMP would continue in effect until any expiration date contained in the program adopted or unless and until replaced by another program that has been approved by the Commission following a notice and comment rulemaking process. In accordance with Section 3.3 of the Delaware River Basin Compact, any program affecting the diversions, compensating releases, rights, conditions, and obligations of the 1954 Supreme Court Decree in the matter of New Jersey v. New York, 347 U.S. 995, 74 S. Ct. 842 requires the unanimous consent of the decree parties, which include the states of Delaware, New Jersey and New York, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the City of New York.
Dates: Two public hearings on the proposal will be conducted at 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. respectively on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at the Lake Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center in Hawley, Pa. Written comments will be accepted through April 6, 2007. To allow sufficient time for consideration by the Commission, comments must be received, not merely postmarked, by that date. In addition, three informational meetings will be held on the proposal. The first will take place during the morning conference session of the Commission's regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at the DRBC office building in West Trenton, N.J. The second will take place during a meeting of the Commission's Regulated Flow Advisory Committee (RFAC), which will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 6, 2007 at the Commission's office building in West Trenton, N.J. The third informational meeting will take place at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27, 2007, immediately prior to the first public hearing on the proposal, scheduled for that date at the Lake Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center in Hawley, Pa.
Addresses. Directions to the Commission's office building, located at 25 State Police Drive in West Trenton, N.J., are available on the DRBC website at www.drbc.net. Please do not rely upon MapQuest or other Internet mapping services for directions to the DRBC, as they do not provide accurate directions to this location. Directions to the Lake Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center are available at http://www.pplweb.com/lake+wallenpaupack/ contacts+and+directions/get+directions.htm and also will be posted on the DRBC website, www.drbc.net, by February 20, 2007. Written comments must include the name, address and affiliation of the commenter. Comments may be submitted by email to email@example.com; by U.S. Mail to: Commission Secretary, DRBC, P.O. Box 7360, West Trenton, N.J. 08628-0360; and by fax to Attn: Commission Secretary at 609-883-9522. In all cases, the subject line, "Comment on Flexible Flow Management Plan for City Delaware Reservoirs" should be included.
Further Information, Contacts: The text of the proposed FFMP in its entirety will be posted on the website of the Delaware River Basin Commission, www.drbc.net, on Tuesday, February 20, 2007 and will remain posted through May 10, 2007. Please contact Pamela M. Bush, Esquire, Commission Secretary and Asst. General Counsel at 609-883-9500 ext. 203 with questions about the proposed rule change or the rulemaking process.