Wednesday, June 4, 2014


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Congressman calls for changes to Delaware River Basin management plan

WASHINGTON – Congressman Christopher Gibson (R, NY19) called on federal regulators to work with Congress to make changes to the Delaware River Basis Flexible Flow Management Plan to better protect upstate New Yorkers from flooding.

The Delaware River Basin Degree parties last week announced they would extend the current plan for another year, delaying the implementation of new measures to mitigate flooding in upstate communities, better regulate water releases from reservoirs, and improve management of the water supply system for New York City.

“I am concerned with this development, as it means there will be no substantive changes in several important areas that impact many of my constituents, and the populations of the entire Delaware River Basin,” Gibson said on Tuesday.  “I understand that there are significant and complex issues that remain under negotiation by the Decree Party Members’ representatives. However, given the recent history of flooding in my district and downstream, the inconsistent nature of water releases that impact important recreational activities, and the growing unpredictability of major storms hitting the Northeastern United States, I believe that action among the Decree Party Members needs to be taken as quickly as possible.”

Releases from the Cannonsville, Neversink, and Pepacton reservoirs are regulated by a 1954 US Supreme Court decision that resulted in the naming of the decree parties – New York State, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and the City of New York. Those parties must agree on changes to the management of the waterways of the Delaware River Basin.

“There is no good reason why we must wait another year to negotiate and implement sound policies that would result from a compromise amongst all the relevant parties to move this process forward,” Gibson said.