Proposed Temporary Amendments to the Water Quality Regulations, Water Code and Comprehensive Plan To Extend the Designation of the Lower Delaware River as a Special Protection Water
The Delaware River Basin Commission (``Commission'' or DRBC) will hold a public hearing to receive comments on a proposed amendment to the Commission's Water Quality Regulations, Water Code, and Comprehensive Plan to extend through September 30, 2007 the temporary classification of the Lower Delaware River as Significant Resource Waters (SRW). The SRW classification was enacted by Commission Resolution No. 2005-2 on January 19, 2005 and initially was due to expire on September 30, 2005. Based upon analysis of additional water quality data, the Commission proposed to decide by the latter date whether to classify certain sections of the Lower Delaware River as Outstanding Basin Waters (OBW) and whether to make the SRW classification permanent for some or all of the Lower Delaware. By Resolution No. 2005-15 approved on September 26, 2005, the temporary classification was extended through September 30, 2006 in order to allow additional time for the Commission to evaluate implementation options and establish numeric values for existing water quality. In order to complete its evaluation of implementation approaches, the Commission is today proposing to extend the temporary classification for up to twelve months more. If approved, the classification would thus expire on September 30, 2007 unless the Commission should either permanently classify the Lower Delaware River or once again extend the temporary classification by rule amendment prior to that date. Permanent classification is anticipated, following an additional notice and comment rulemaking when the Commission has resolved remaining implementation issues. Extending the temporary classification will help to protect the exceptional scenic, recreational and water quality values of the Lower Delaware from degradation in the interim.