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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 06-1682



[25 PA. CODE CH. 901]

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

[36 Pa.B. 4726]
[Saturday, August 26, 2006]


   The Delaware River Basin Commission (Commission) 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 that date whether to classify certain sections of the Lower Delaware River as Outstanding Basin Waters 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, to allow time for the Commission to evaluate implementation options and establish numeric values for existing water quality. To complete its evaluation of implementation approaches, the Commission is proposing to extend the temporary classification for up to 12 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.


   The public hearing will take place on Wednesday, September 27, 2006, during the Commission's regular business meeting, which will be held at the Commission's office building, located at 25 State Police Drive, West Trenton, NJ, beginning at 1:30 p.m. Driving directions are available on the Commission's website, Persons wishing to testify are asked to register in advance with the Commission Secretary, at (609) 883-9500, Ext. 203. Written comments will be accepted through the close of the public hearing; however earlier submittals would be appreciated.

Supplementary Information

   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, NJ, RM 144.4. The effect of temporary classification of the Lower Delaware as SRW has been to make this portion of the main stem Delaware River and its drainage area subject to all applicable provisions of the Commission's Special Protection Waters regulations, Section 3.10.3A.2 of the Commission's Water Quality Regulations, except those that depend for implementation upon the use of numeric values for existing water quality.

   Key provisions of the Special Protection Waters Regulations that will continue to apply within the drainage area to the Lower Delaware River if the proposed extension of the SRW classification is approved include but are not limited to the following: subsections 3.10.3A.2.c.1 through 3, in part requiring that no new or expanded wastewater discharges may be permitted in waters classified as Special Protection Waters until all nondischarge-load reduction alternatives have been fully evaluated and rejected because of technical or financial infeasibility; subsections 3.10.3A.2.d.1. through 7., setting forth requirements for wastewater treatment facilities; and subsections 3.10.3A.2.e.1. and 2., conditioning project approval on the existence of an approved Non-Point Source Pollution Control Plan for the project area and requiring that approval of a new or expanded withdrawal and/or wastewater discharge project be subject to the condition that new connections to the project system be limited to service areas regulated by a nonpoint source pollution control plan approved by the Commission.

   Previous register notices concerning designation of the Lower Delaware River as Special Protection Waters include notices published at 69 FR 57008 (September 23, 2004) (proposed Special Protection Waters designation); FR 48923 (August 22, 2005) (proposed extension); 34 Pa.B. 5557 (October 9, 2004) (proposed designation); and 35 Pa.B. 5005 and 5013 (September 10, 2005) (temporary amendment and proposed extension). The proposed designation and extension, as well as the final rulemakings establishing and extending temporary designation, approved by Resolutions Nos. 2005-2 and 2005-15 respectively, were also published on the Commission's website,

Further Information, Contacts

   Resolution No. 2005-2, temporarily amending the Water Quality Regulations, Water Code and Comprehensive Plan of the Commission by designating the Lower Delaware River a Special Protection Water, and Resolution No. 2005-15, extending the temporary amendment approved by Resolution No. 2005-2, are available on the Commission's website at or upon request from the Delaware River Basin Commission, P. O. Box 7360, West Trenton, NJ 08628-0360. Maps depicting the designated area are also available on the website. For further information, please contact Pamela M. Bush, Commission Secretary and Assistant General Counsel, Delaware River Basin Commission, at (609) 883, 9500, Ext. 203.

   It is proposed to amend Section 3.10.3.A.2.g.6 of the Water Quality Regulations and Water Code by replacing the last paragraph of that section with the following:

   Sections 3.10.3.A.2.g.2).(b) and 3.10.3.A.2.g.6). shall expire on September 30, 2007 unless extended by amendment to this rule.


   Fiscal Note:  68-48. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A




§ 901.2. Comprehensive Plan and water quality.

   The Comprehensive Plan regulations as set forth in 18 CFR Part 401, Subpart A (2006) and the Water Code and Water Quality Standards as set forth in 18 CFR Part 410 (2006) are hereby incorporated by reference and made a part of this title.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 06-1682. Filed for public inspection August 25, 2006, 9:00 a.m.]

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