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Notice of Proposed Rulemaking & Public Hearing: Importations of Water Into and Exportations of Water From the Delaware River Basin; Discharges of Wastewater from High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing and Related Activities
January 20, 2022: Public Hearing No. 5 Scheduled for February 3

Fifth Public Hearing Announced January 20, 2022

Public Participation Opportunities Expanded

  • This public hearing will include enhanced language access to include real-time English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English professional translation, on a pilot basis. Attendees may choose to participate in the virtual hearing in either English or Spanish.

  • This public hearing includes toll-free phone numbers for individuals to use to participate in the public hearing via phone, on a pilot basis. This enhances access for those who do not have a computer or those who live in regions with limited internet access.

February 3 Public Hearing Info - 1:30PM to no later than 4:30PM

Submit Written Comments

Language & Accessibility

Documentos de reglas disponibles en español (publicado el 15/12/21)

Language & Accessibility

  • As can be done for any DRBC web page, to translate this page to one of multiple languages, please use the Google Translation widget located in the upper right of the web page. To request a translation of a document that is provided as part of this rulemaking, please send an e-mail to translate@drbc.gov. Please include the requested language and the requested documents. This service is for documents not able to be translated by the web page's Google Translate widget, which only translates html. Please note that it could take several days for us to provide a response to your email and it will also take time to provide the requested translation.

  • Como se puede hacer con cualquier página web de DRBC, para traducir esta página a uno de varios idiomas, utilice el widget de traducción de Google ubicado en la parte superior derecha de la página web. Para solicitar una traducción de un documento que se proporciona como parte de esta reglamentación, envíe un correo electrónico a translate@drbc.gov. Incluya el idioma solicitado y los documentos solicitados. Este servicio es para documentos que no pueden ser traducidos por el widget Google Translate de la página web, que solo traduce html. Tenga en cuenta que pueden pasar varios días hasta que respondamos a su correo electrónico y que también llevará tiempo proporcionar la traducción solicitada.
Proposed Rulemaking: Public Notice & FAQ Documents

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking & Public Hearing (published 10/28/21)

FAQ Document (posted 12/7/21)

Proposed Rulemaking Published; Written Comment Deadline Extended

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Published Oct. 28

  • On October 28, 2021, the DRBC published on its web site proposed amendments to its regulations regarding the importation and exportation of water and wastewater into and from the Delaware River Basin and the discharge of wastewater from high volume hydraulic fracturing,

  • The DRBC also announced a schedule of public hearings - four virtual public hearings on this proposal in December 2021 (details here) - and that written comments will be accepted through 5 p.m. on February 28, 2022 (new date!) (details here).

  • View News Release (issued October 28, 2021)

Written Comment Deadline Extended Nov. 16

  • On November 16, 2021, the DRBC announced that it has extended the written comment period for this proposal to 5 p.m., Monday, February 28, 2022.

  • The original deadline for written comments was January 28, 2022.
Proposal Summary

The DRBC is soliciting public comment on proposed amendments to:

Briefly, the proposed amendments address:

  • Wastewater from HVHF: The proposed amendments to DRBC's Special Regulations, Part 440—High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing include a determination that the discharge of wastewater from HVHF and HVHF-related activities poses significant, immediate and long-term risks to the Basin’s water resources and that controlling future pollution by prohibiting such discharges within the Basin is required to effectuate the Commission's Comprehensive Plan. This determination is accompanied by related definitions and a prohibition on the discharge of wastewater from HVHF and HVHF-related activities to waters or land within the Basin.

  • Water Exportation: The Commission's policy has been to discourage the exportation of water from the Basin. The draft amendments establish the circumstances under which proposed exportations that meet the Commission's existing threshold for review may be considered for approval. Under the proposed rule, the Commission may approve an exportation of water if the export is needed to serve a straddled or adjacent public water system; if it is required on a temporary, short-term or emergency basis to meet public health and safety needs; or if it comprises an exportation of wastewater. The Commission will require an analysis of alternatives to the proposed exportation and will consider in its review factors that include the effects of the proposal on public health and safety and the effectuation of its Comprehensive Plan.

  • Water Importation: The proposed regulations clarify the factors the Commission will use in evaluating proposed importations of water or wastewater that meet the Commission's existing thresholds for review. Although importations of wastewater are "discouraged," they may be permitted after careful consideration to ensure that available alternatives have been evaluated, treatment is employed to ensure applicable water quality criteria are achieved, restoration efforts are not impeded and uses incorporated in the Commission's Comprehensive Plan are protected.

  • Water Quality Regulations: To facilitate the alignment of certain Basin state discharge permits with the proposed Special Regulations regarding wastewater from high volume hydraulic fracturing, the Commission proposes to amend its Water Quality Regulations Article 4—Application of Standards to incorporate into this article the determination, relevant definitions and prohibition described above.
Public Hearing Information

Public hearings were or will be held remotely via Zoom. Below are the dates & times for each public hearing.

1. December 8, 2021, from 2:30 p.m. to no later than 4:30 p.m.

  • Register to Provide Oral Comment: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/public-hearing-1-on-drbc-proposed-rules-on-water-importationexportation-tickets-195950963607 (registration ended 12/7/21, 5 p.m.)

  • To Join the Public Hearing: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86173775244?pwd=UjNCaXRJWW85bEx6Z0FVNytzUk5pZz09 (public hearing ended 12/8/21, 3:35 p.m.)

    • Webinar ID: 861 7377 5244
    • Passcode: 989206
    • Dial-in:
      • US: +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 929 205 6099 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 6833 
      • International: https://us06web.zoom.us/u/kbZCtr3DC

2. December 8, 2021, from 6:30 p.m. to no later than 8:30 p.m.

  • Register to Provide Oral Comment: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/public-hearing-2-on-drbc-proposed-rules-on-water-importationexportation-registration-196042346937 (registration ended 12/7/21, 5 p.m.)

  • To Join the Public Hearing: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82293413613?pwd=UFJtWVJieGh3dzdOM0tmSVhvTE5NQT09 (public hearing ended 12/8/21, 7 p.m.)

    • Webinar ID: 822 9341 3613
    • Passcode: 507901
    • Dial-in:
      • US: +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 929 205 6099 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 6833 
      • International: https://us06web.zoom.us/u/kdvrpgeQgf

3. December 15, 2021, from 1 p.m. to no later than 3 p.m.

  • Register to Provide Oral Comment: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/public-hearing-3-on-drbc-proposed-rules-on-water-importationexportation-registration-196489745117 (registration full as of 12/14/21, 12 p.m.)

  • To Join the Public Hearing: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83578437011?pwd=Q1Y3RlhQVmdhZllDL2dMelh4Qkw2dz09 (public hearing ended 12/15/21, 2:45 p.m.)

    • Webinar ID: 835 7843 7011
    • Passcode: 783553
    •  Dial-in:
      • US: +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 929 205 6099 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 6833 
      • International: https://us06web.zoom.us/u/kcfapVJ5Re
  •  

4. December 15, 2021, from 4 p.m. to no later than 6 p.m.

  • Register to Provide Oral Comment: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/public-hearing-4-on-drbc-proposed-rules-on-water-importationexportation-registration-196500126167 (registration ended 12/14/21, 5 p.m.)

  • To Join the Public Hearing: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83905088587?pwd=aFJuZmd1K2RwRlBRYlpPME44dHZRUT09 (public hearing ended 12/15/21, 5:15 p.m.)

    • Webinar ID: 839 0508 8587
    • Passcode: 431261
    • Dial-in:
      • US: +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 929 205 6099 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 6833 
      • International: https://us06web.zoom.us/u/kZvcwGrk

5. February 3, 2022, from 1:30 p.m. to no later than 4:30 p.m.

Please Note - Public Hearing Rules:

  • If you would like to attend the public hearing(s) without offering oral comment, registration is not required. Attendance at each public hearing is not limited. See "To Join the Public Hearing" for info on how to participate.

  • If you would like to provide oral comment at a public hearing, you must register in advance via Eventbrite to assure your opportunity to speak. See "Register through Eventbrite to Provide Oral Comment" to register to speak.

  • Each person who wishes to provide oral comment may do so at only one public hearing.

  • Limited time may be available at the end of the December 15, 2021, and February 3, 2022, hearings for unregistered speakers. There is no guarantee of additional time at the end of the hearing for unregistered speakers, nor is there a guarantee that we can hear from every unregistered speaker.

  • Online registration will remain open until 5 p.m. on the day prior to the hearing date or until all available speaking slots have been filled, whichever is earlier.

  • The public hearings will also be livestreamed on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/delrivbasincomm/. However, if you wish to provide oral comment at a hearing or use Zoom's translation services, you must participate via Zoom (and register in advance).

  • Depending on the number who wish to be heard, speakers will be limited to about three minutes.

  • Elected government officials and their staff will have the opportunity to identify themselves when registering to attend a hearing and may be given priority in the speaker sequence.

  • Written and oral comment will receive equal consideration.
Submit Written Comments

Written comments will be accepted through 5 p.m. on February 28, 2022.

Submit Comments Here

  • Written comments along with any attachments must be submitted through the Commission's online public comment collection system at: https://dockets.drbc.commentinput.com/?id=x2K8A (same as above).

  • All materials should be provided in searchable formats, preferably in .pdf searchable text. Notably, a picture scan of a document may not result in searchable text.

  • Non-digitized, voluminous materials such as books, journals or collected letters and petitions will not be accepted. Digital submissions of articles and websites must be accompanied by a statement containing citations to the specific findings or conclusions the commenter wishes to reference.

  • Written and oral comment will receive equal consideration.

  • Those unable to use the web-based comment collection system may seek an exception from use of this system by sending a request to the Commission Secretary, DRBC, P.O. Box 7360, West Trenton, NJ 08628.

    • Requests should explain why the commenter is unable to use the web-based system.

    • To simplify the process, exception-seekers may elect to submit their request and comment simultaneously.

    • No reasonable request for an exception will be denied.
Substance of Comments

The Commission expressly seeks comment on the effects the proposed rules may have within the Basin on:

  • water availability;

  • the control and abatement of water pollution;

  • economic development;

  • the conservation and protection of drinking water supplies;

  • the conservation and protection of aquatic life;

  • the conservation and protection of water quality in Special Protection Waters; and

  • the protection, maintenance and improvement of water quantity and quality Basinwide


The Commission welcomes and will consider any other comments that concern the potential effects of the draft rules on the conservation, utilization, development, management and control of the water and related resources of the Basin.

Comments on matters not within the scope of the proposed rules may not be considered.

Supporting Documentation

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Public Hearing

FAQ Document

Proposed Amendments


Learn More: DRBC Regulations

Contacts

For information regarding the public hearings and submission of written comments:

  • Contact Kate Schmidt, Communications Specialist, at kate.schmidt@drbc.gov (preferred) or 609-477-7205.

  • Contact Elizabeth Koniers Brown, Director of Communications and External Affairs, at elizabeth.brown@drbc.gov (preferred) or 609-462-4834.

Notice Posted: October 28, 2021
Notice Updated: November 16, 2021 (updated written comment deadline to February 28, 2022)
Notice Updated: December 6, 2021 (added Basin state register notices to Supporting Documentation)
Notice Updated: December 7, 2021 (added FAQ document)
Notice Updated: December 8, 2021 (added Language & Accessibility info)
Notice Updated: December 14, 2021 (noted public hearing #3 as full)
Notice Updated: December 15, 2021 (added rulemaking documents translated into Spanish)
Notice Updated: January 20, 2022 (announced 5th Public Hearing)