The Delaware Riverkeeper Network Tuesday petitioned the Environmental Quality Board, the rulemaking arm of the Department of Environmental Protection, to upgrade the existing and designated uses of Zones 3 and 4 of the Delaware River, River Miles 78.8-108.4, to recognize that fish propagation is occurring in these reaches.
By recognizing that the existing use in these Zones includes fish propagation, fish species like striped bass and shad will get important enhanced protections from pollutant discharges from wastewater treatment facilities or other polluting sources.
The Delaware River Basin Commission’s staff, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regions 2 and 3, and DEP itself, all support this upgrade, but DEP has not yet acted.
“We’ve known about increasing fish populations in this recovering section of the river for years, but DEP has failed to implement federally and state mandated protections to ensure that pollutants discharged do not adversely affect the spawning of these fish,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper.
The petition will now be reviewed by the DEP and a hearing will be set to discuss the issues presented therein.
“Because the conclusions reached in the petition are the result of significant and verified scientific findings, we expect DEP’s prompt review and consideration,” said van Rossum.A copy of the petition is available online.
For information on the petition process, visit the EQB Rulemaking Petitions webpage.