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The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) was created on October 27, 1961, when concurrent compact legislation ratified by Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Congress became law. The Delaware River Basin Compact describes the powers and duties of the commission, and over the past half a century the DRBC has put into place various programs to carry out its responsibilities. These relate to water supply (Article 4), pollution control (Article 5), flood protection (Article 6), watershed management (Article 7), recreation (Article 8), regulation of withdrawals and diversions (Article 10), and intergovernmental relations (Article 11).   

Article 3 requires the DRBC to formulate and adopt a Comprehensive Plan for the immediate and long-range development and uses of the water resources of the basin and a multi-year water resources program consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. The compact further provides that no project having a substantial effect on the water resources of the basin shall be undertaken unless it shall have been first submitted to and approved by the commission. In accordance with Section 3.8 of the compact, the DRBC is required to approve a project whenever it finds and determines that the project would not substantially impair or conflict with the Comprehensive Plan. The commission provides by regulation for the procedure of submission, review, and consideration of projects and for its determinations pursuant to Section 3.8.

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