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December 25, 2014
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Study: better water management means millions for valley

Current members of the Upper Delaware Council pose at their latest meeting, at which they were sworn in.
TRR photos by David Hulse


Carol Collier, outgoing executive director of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) noted that the study should also be directed at the four “decree party” states to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision that gave New York City primary control of the river’s source waters. Those parties are working to complete a multi-year agreement this spring. “It’s more than New York City. What’s the plan?” she asked.

In other business, Collier reported that the new Pennsylvania budget proposes a $500,000 cut to its annual DRBC funding. The cut equals half of the commission budget and Collier said if it stands, DRBC will be forced to make additional staff reductions, while more technical review work is being asked of it. Delaware, New Jersey and PA have been fully funding DRBC in past years, while New York, she said is “catching up.”

The federal government has not fully funded its share of the multi-state commission’s budget since 1996, despite legal requirements that it do so, Collier added.

The Corbett administration has been very critical of DRBC’s failure to complete permit rules regarding withdrawals for natural gas fracking. Collier would not comment when asked if she thought the budget cut was retaliation for the situation.