Thursday, October 18, 2007


Here are a few important issues that require your immediate attention.

Clean Water Action is requesting that each of us contact our congressional representatives to express support for the Clean Water Act, which has been seriously undermined by the Smirking Chimp Administration. Click here to find out more.


PLEASE consider attending one of the informational meetings sponsored by the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) on the proposed Special Protection Waters designation for the Wild and Scenic Lower Delaware River. The non-tidal Lower Delaware River extends from the Delaware Water Gap to Trenton/Morrisville. The upper reaches from the Water Gap to Hancock, NY already have these regs in place, which is one of the reasons we have such clean water flowing down to the Lower Delaware.

The New Jersey meeting will be held Thursday October 25, 7:00-9:00pm at the Prallsville Mill, Rt. 29, Stockton. The Pennsylvania meeting will be held Thursday November 1, 7:00-9:00 pm, in Room 315, Acopian Engineering Building at Lafayette College, Easton. Go to the DRBC website for more information.

The FINAL PUBLIC HEARING on DRBC’s proposed SPW designation will be held on Tuesday, December 4, 2:30pm at the DRBC, 25 State Police Drive , West Trenton, NJ. We need to you to attend and speak up for the river and this crucial designation in order to make sure that the high quality waters of the Lower Delaware River are kept clean and waters that need improvement are restored.

Letters in support of Special Protection Waters designation are urgently needed. Please send your letter for the record to DRBC today –deadline for all letters is December 6, 2007. Let the DRBC know you care about the Delaware River!

For a sample letter go to (see my links list) and look for action alerts.

In 2000, the U.S. Congress enacted the “Lower Delaware River Wild and Scenic Rivers Act,” which included most of the Lower Delaware River into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network then petitioned the DRBC to designate the Lower Delaware River as Special Protection Waters (SPW), a classification system that is similar to New Jersey’s Category 1 water quality classification and Pennsylvania’s Exceptional and High Quality classification program..

The DRBC collected water quality data showing that that the Lower Delaware has higher water quality than the existing minimum standards. Based on that, the DRBC has decided to move towards permanent SPW for this section to protect that high quality and the exceptional resources that merited it Wild and Scenic status. The goal of SPW is to maintain exceptionally high scenic, recreational, and ecological values or water supply uses.

The SPW regulations address point sources of pollution by requiring higher levels of treatment (Best Demonstrable Technology) for new large discharges that are reviewed by the DRBC. This applies to new and/or expanded discharges to tributaries and the main stem. DRBC will set water quality targets at set points in the river and at the mouth of major tributaries based on the water quality data they collected and analyzed. These targets will establish existing water quality parameters for discharge permits. Once water quality standards are established, it is also required that there will be no measurable change in existing water quality from new discharges for these higher-than-standard quality waters. An alternatives analysis that first considers no-discharge technologies is also required.

The Special Protection Waters program also requires that nonpoint source pollution control plans to be prepared by applicants proposing new discharges and/or new large water withdrawals. Best management practices and infiltration strategies for new development will be required to prevent, manage, and recycle stormwater runoff.

In short -- Please take the time to write a letter to the DRBC supporting Special Protection Waters.

Need more information or inspiration? Email me at