Project Review/ Permitting

For projects within the Delaware River Basin subject to commission regulatory review, DRBC determinations are issued through the DRBC Project Review Program or through the One Process/One Permit Program.

DRBC Docketing/Permitting (DRBC Project Review)

The Delaware River Basin Compact 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 (Compact, §3.8). In accordance with Section 3.8 of the Compact, the commission 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.

DRBC's Project Review Program reviews docket applications for water resource projects (in accordance with Section 3.8) and permit applications (in accordance with Section 10.3 of the Compact and the commission's Southeastern Pennsylvania Ground Water Protected Area Regulations). Reviewable projects are also subject to DRBC's water code, water supply charges, and floodplain and water quality regulations, where applicable.

Docket and permit applications are reviewed by the DRBC Water Resource Management and Science and Water Quality Management branches.

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One Process/One Permit Program

For projects subject to regulatory review by both the DRBC and a basin state, the objective of the One Process/One Permit Program is to provide by administrative agreement for the issuance of a single approval instrument incorporating the applicable requirements of the two authorities. Participation in the One Process/One Permit Program by signatory party agencies is voluntary, and, currently, only the states of New Jersey and New York are part of the program.

It is expected that the states will be the lead agencies and issue permits under the One Process/One Permit Program for wastewater discharges under National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) water quality programs. For water withdrawals, the lead agency could either be the state or the DRBC, depending upon current state programs and the terms of an administrative agreement between DRBC and the appropriate state agency.

This program does not alter the regulatory standards of the DRBC or any state agency, and the respective authorities of each agency will be expressly preserved.

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