UDC reminded of historic workbook,studies, lifejacket regs, quarry expansion considered
The Upper Delaware Council (UDC) was reacquainted with an important workbook to enable its consistent review of projects in the river corridor at its monthly meeting on July 7 in Narrowsburg.
National Park Service Superintendent Sean McGuinness drew attention to the Project Review Workbook, finalized in January 1988 to ascertain that major development projects requiring review by the UDC meet the intent of the River Management Plan (RMP) for the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River and the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
A series of questions drawn directly from the resource management objectives of the RMP address cultural resources, water resources management, fish and wildlife, threatened and endangered species, unique land resources and recreation resources.
The workbook also targets the issue of cumulative impact, noting that the UDC “will assess the impact of a project over time” and may propose conditions that limit the secondary impacts of a project or recommend limits on subsequent projects in the corridor.
The UDC also approved two letters and heard updates from various partners.
A draft letter requesting denial of the permit application for the proposed expansion of the Holbert Quarry in Lackawaxen Township was approved (see related story on page 5).
A draft letter to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission on its proposed regulations related to personal flotation devices was also approved. The letter expresses support for an amendment that would require, beginning November 1 through April 30, that boaters wear a Coast Guard-approved PFD while underway or at anchor on boats less than 16 feet in length or any canoe or kayak. The regulation is already in effect in New York State. If approved, it would take effect in 2012.
According to UDC executive director William Douglass, the Delaware River Basin will be one of three focused studies by the U.S. Geological Survey on water use and availability as part of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s pilot WaterSMART initiative (see www.usbr.gov/newsroom/testimony/detail.cfm?RecordID=1601). The study is expected to take three years and the UDC has been invited to attend a stakeholders meeting on September 7-8 in Shawnee, PA.
Work is continuing on the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway in the area of the Hawk’s Nest, where repairs are being made to the stone walls and traffic on the snakelike roadway is being controlled with temporary lights. The project is expected to wrap up in August.
A photo featuring Junction Pool and Point Mountain in Hancock, taken by UDC senior resource specialist David B. Soete, has been selected to represent the Upper Delaware River in a series of posters celebrating the 2011 “River of the Year” designation.
Soete also attended recent training by the National Park Service on the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The objective of the act is to ensure the rivers remain free flowing and to preserve the outstanding values for which they received the designation. Many of the documents provided at the workshop are available at www.rivers.gov.
The UDC also learned that a study of the potential health impacts of gas drilling that was proposed for the Delaware River Basin (www.riverreporteronline.com/news/14/2011/06/08/health-study-
natural-gas-proposed-region) was not approved for funding. The Health Impact Assessment would have been only the third of its kind in the nation.
The UDC meets monthly on the first Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at its office at 211 Bridge Street in Narrowsburg, NY. All meetings are open to the public. Visit www.upperdel awarecouncil.org or call 845/252-3022.