May 22, 2013 —
WEST TRENTON, NJ — Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) announced that the U.S. Senate on May 15 passed the Water Resources Development Act of 2013 (WRDA) by a 83-14 vote that included a provision directing the federal government to pay its share of the commission’s annual budget. The bill must still be approved by the House of Representatives.
“We are very grateful to Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons for the leadership roles they played in securing this important DRBC funding language in the WRDA bill,” DRBC Executive Director Carol R. Collier said. The federal government, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania agreed to support the DRBC’s annual budget when President Kennedy and the four governors signed into law the compact creating the commission in 1961. However, the federal government has ignored this agreement by failing to fund its 20% “fair share” of the DRBC’s annual budget in 16 of the last 17 years while remaining an active voting commission member possessing the same powers and authority as the other signatory parties. The cumulative federal shortfall since 1996 is nearly $11 million.