Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Susquehanna River Basin Commission Nov. 5 Hearing Includes Proposed Policy Setting Incentives For Reuse Of Abandoned Mine Drainage, Treated Wastewater

On October 20, the
Susquehanna River Basin Commission released a proposed policy to update the Commission’s existing policy and resolution that encouraged the use of impaired waters, specifically, the policy addresses fee and timing of review incentives for the use of waters impaired by abandoned mine drainage or treated wastewater for recycling or reuse. 

The Commission invites public comments on the proposed at its previously scheduled November 5 virtual hearing.

The policy offers incentives for the use of these waters with respect to the management and protection of the water resources of the basin.  

The water that is incentivized for use under this policy is a liability, and, generally, will do more harm than good if released into the environment, thereby offsetting flow regime and/or hydrologic cycle concerns potentially associated with its removal from local hydrology.  

This policy will incentivize withdrawals of impaired waters, leaving more pristine waterways and aquifers untouched.  Additionally, this policy will incentivize the growing number of projects looking to recycle and reuse wastewater for beneficial purposes.

The proposed policy offers four incentives for the use of these waters. Three of the incentives offer partial or full waiver of application and consumptive use mitigation fees:

-- Direct withdrawal or consumptive use from untreated AMD impaired source;

-- Construct AMD treatment for a withdrawal or consumptive use of the treated discharge; or

-- Consumptive use of treated wastewater.

The fourth incentive offers prioritization of regulatory review for a project using impaired waters in any of the three scenarios above.

The withdrawal and consumptive use of these waters are subject to the full regulatory review process under 18 CFR Part 806.  The use of impaired waters must be beneficial and not adverse to the water resources of the Basin.

Click Here for a copy of the proposed policy.


The Commission has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed policy and previously advertised water project applications for November 5, 2020 at starting at 2:30 p.m.  This hearing will be held by telephone rather than at a physical location. Conference Call # 1-888-387-8686, the Conference Room Code # 9179686050.

Comments may be submitted on the Commission's Public Comment webpage, mailed to: Jason E. Oyler, Esq., General Counsel, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, 4423 N Front Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110-1788, or submitted by email to regcomments@srbc.net.  

The deadline to submit comments specific to the proposed policy is November 18, 2020.

For more information on programs, training opportunities and upcoming events, visit the Susquehanna River Basin Commission website.  Click Here to sign up for SRBC’s newsletter.   Follow SRBC on Twitter, visit them on YouTube.

Related Article:

Susquehanna River Basin Commission Hearing Nov. 5, Business Meeting Dec. 11

[Posted: October 20, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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