DELAWARE RIVER BASIN COMMISSION
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
Water Quality Regulations, Water Code and Comprehensive Plan to Classify the Lower Delaware River as Special Protection Waters
Summary: The Commission will hold a public hearing to receive comments on proposed amendments to the Commission's Water Quality Regulations, Water Code and Comprehensive Plan to establish numeric values for existing water quality for the reach of the main stem Delaware River known as the "Lower Delaware" and to assign this reach the SPW classification "Significant Resource Waters" (SRW). The Lower Delaware extends from the southern boundary of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area at River Mile ("RM") 209.4 to the head of tide at Trenton, New Jersey, RM 144.4. Although no area of the State of Delaware falls within the portion of the Basin subject to the proposed regulations, as a member of the Delaware River Basin Commission, Delaware participates in cooperative management of the Basin's water resources and has a role in deciding whether the proposed rules are adopted.
The Lower Delaware River has carried the SPW-SRW classification on a temporary basis since January of 2005, making this reach and its drainage area subject for the past three years to those provisions of the Commission's SPW regulations that do not depend for implementation upon the use of numeric values for existing water quality. The amendments that currently are proposed would make projects within the Lower Delaware drainage subject to all applicable SPW requirements, including those for "no measurable change" to existing water quality as defined by the rule. The amendments also would incorporate language intended to clarify aspects of the SPW regulations that have been a source of confusion for some DRBC docket holders and applicants since the program was originally adopted in 1992 for point sources and in 1994 for non-point sources. Notably, a new term - "substantial alterations or additions" - is proposed to be added to the Definitions section of the regulations and to be inserted in other sections of the rule to clarify which types of additions or alterations to existing wastewater treatment facilities will trigger certain SPW requirements that are deemed appropriate in connection with capital investment projects. A new paragraph also is proposed to expressly authorize effluent trading between point sources to satisfy the requirement for no measurable change to existing water quality under certain circumstances.
Dates: The public hearing will be held on December 4, 2007, at the Commission's office building, located at 25 State Police Drive, West Trenton, New Jersey. Driving directions are available on the Commission's website, www.drbc.net. Please do not rely on Internet mapping services as they may not provide accurate directions to the DRBC. The hearing will begin at 2:30 P.M. and will continue until all those who wish to testify are afforded an opportunity to do so. Persons wishing to testify at the hearing are asked to register in advance by phoning Ms. Paula Schmitt at 609-883-9500, ext. 224. Written comments will be accepted through the close of business on December 6, 2007. Written comments may be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org; by fax to Commission Secretary at 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. In all cases, please include the commenter's name, address and affiliation if any in the comment document and include "SPW" in the subject line.
Further Information: The current rule and the full text of the proposed amendments are posted on the Commission's website, www.drbc.net, along with supporting data, reports, maps and related documents. Hard copies may be obtained by contacting Ms. Paula Schmitt at 609-883-9500, ext. 224. The Commission will hold two informational meetings on the proposed rulemaking. The first will take place on Thursday, October 25, 2007 from 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. at the office of the Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission at the Prallsville Mills Complex, 33 Risler Street (Route 29) in Stockton, New Jersey. The second will be held on Thursday, November 1, 2007 from 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. in Room 315 of the Acopian Engineering Building at Lafayette College, located at High Street, Easton, Pennsylvania. Please contact Commission Secretary Pamela Bush, 609-883-9500 ext. 203 with questions about the proposed rule or the rulemaking process.
Pamela M. Bush, Esquire, Commission Secretary
September 14, 2007