Clear sky
Clear sky
30.2 °F
December 07, 2016
River Reporter Facebook pageTRR TwitterRSS Search

Study: better water management means millions for valley

Interim Superintendent Malcolm Wilbur, left, attended his first meeting of the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) on February 6. UDC officials are scheduled to meet with a team of National Park Service officials collecting input and suggestions prior to the appointment of a new permanent superintendent for the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River (UDS&RR). Former Superintendent Sean McGuinness left the position for retirement on January 24.

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.