Water Quality

Article 5 of the Delaware River Basin Compact defines the commission's water quality mandates, which direct the DRBC to take the lead on water quality matters pertaining to the basin by adopting regulations:

"...to control such future pollution and abate existing pollution, and to require such treatment of sewage, industrial or other waste within a time reasonable for the construction of the necessary works, as may be required to protect the public health or to preserve the waters of the basin for uses in accordance with the comprehensive plan." (Compact, §5.2)

The commission's first Water Quality Regulations were adopted in March 1967 and are divided into two main sections: Article 3 - Water Quality Standards for the Delaware River Basin and Article 4 - Application of Standards. Standards were created for main stem water quality zones and also for the basin in its entirety. The regulations, which have been updated and revised periodically, are an important mechanism by which commission members work together to manage the water resources of the basin. 

Notable commission water quality programs are its review of water resource projects (project review), Special Protection Waters (SPW) program for the non-tidal river, assimilative capacity/TMDL regulations, and its Pollutant Minimization Plan (PMP) requirements for point and non-point discharges of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the tidal Delaware River.

Additional details may be found via the links on the right.