Penn., Del., hold joint meeting on Delaware River watershed management

Montgomery County meeting, hearing set on water resources management and planning under Pennsylvania Act 220 of 2002, which requires the commonwealth to complete a state water plan within five years. Citizens encouraged to attend public meeting...

HARRISBURG, PA, May 5, 2005 (PRNewswire) -- Deputy Secretary for Water Management Cathleen Curran Myers, of the Penn. Department of Environmental Protection, and Delaware Regional Water Resources Committee chairperson Carol Collier invite citizens living in the Delaware River Basin to attend a public meeting and hearing on water resources management and planning under Act 220 of 2002. Also known as the Water Resources Act, it requires the commonwealth to complete a state water plan within five years.

A general information session including registration, displays and regional water resource maps will be available prior to the meeting at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, May 12 in College Hall at the Montgomery County Community College, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. The public meeting will begin promptly at 6 p.m., and the public hearing will follow immediately from 8 to 10 p.m. at the same location.

The Delaware Regional Water Resources Committee is seeking comments on water resources management and planning within the Delaware River Basin. In addition, comments are invited on the draft regional water resource priorities developed by the committee.

At the May 12 public meeting, Collier will provide background on the Water Resources Act (Act 220 of 2002) as well as highlight key priorities defined by the regional committee. The meeting will include time for public questions on the process of developing the State Water Plan, including the draft water resources priorities.

During the public hearing, DEP will take oral testimony on water resources management and planning in the region. DEP also will accept written comments until June 30. Written comments should be sent to: DEP Water Planning Office, 400 Market St., Harrisburg, PA 17105. Comments also may be submitted electronically to laumohr@state.pa.us.

Copies of the Delaware Regional Water Resources Committee draft priorities are available for review and downloading at the DEP Web site, www.dep.state.pa.us, Keyword "Water Resources."

People with disabilities who would like to attend the meeting and hearing, but require an auxiliary aid, service or other accommodations should contact the department for assistance. TDD users may use the AT&T Relay Service at 1-800-654-5984.

The Waters Resources Act (see: www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/watermgt/wc/act220/default.htm) requires DEP to develop a new State Water Plan over the next several years and to work with a regional and a statewide committee whose membership includes a broad representation of business and industry, agriculture, local government and environmental interests. Through an open and public process, in consultation with the statewide committee and DEP, regional committees will recommend the regional plan components to the statewide committee for incorporation into the State Water Plan.

The State Water Plan will be designed to provide up-to-date information on water availability, an assessment and projection of water use and future demands on a watershed basis, identification of critical water planning areas where water demands are projected to exceed available water supplies, and the development of critical area resource plans for these areas.

In related news, see: "Ohio, Penn. plan joint meeting on Ohio River watershed management".

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