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September 21, 2006


Contact: Elaine Makatura
(609) 292-2994
Darlene Yuhas
(609) 984-1795


(06/52) TRENTON -- Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson today announced that New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware will form an interstate task force to develop substantive recommendations for protecting residents’ lives and property from disastrous flooding along the Delaware River and its tributaries.

The four states, which also agreed to fund a $500,000 study to determine the impact of reservoir operations on flood management, will coordinate the regional flood-mitigation initiative through the Delaware River Basin Commission.

"We won't ever stop floods from happening, but we can mitigate their impact," Governor Jon S. Corzine said. "My administration has already proposed new regulations that will have both immediate and long-term impacts. We are now forming a regional task force, working on a flood management operating plan for existing reservoirs and moving forward in an expedient manner."

“Combining resources and coordinating action will strengthen the policies and regulations New Jersey is already implementing as well as those planned in the future to avert devastating flooding in Delaware River communities,” Commissioner Jackson said. “Simply put, we can do more working together to control flooding than each state can do separately.”

The creation of the interstate task force comes less than a month after Governor Corzine announced new flood-control regulations that are among the nation’s strongest for imposing limitations on development in a flood plain and providing stream-corridor protections.

In June, Delaware River flooding devastated several New Jersey communities for the fourth time in fewer than two years.

DRBC staff will provide technical expertise and coordinate the interstate task force’s efforts to develop a set of measures for mitigating flooding and minimizing flood losses basin-wide. Those measures will include a basin-wide flood-management operating plan for existing reservoirs throughout the river basin, which will complement the DRBC’s drought management plan.

To ensure the interstate task force’s recommended flood-control measures are based on solid scientific information, the DRBC will guide the development of a flood-analysis model for the Delaware River Basin to evaluate how reservoir voids can alleviate the impact of flooding along the river.

The task force will present its preliminary recommendations to Governor Corzine, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, New York Gov. George Pataki and Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner by the end of the year.

A copy of the governors' letter is attached.

For more information on flood mitigation in New Jersey, visit



Letter from Governors of NJ, NY, PA and DE to DRBC (pdf)


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Last Updated: September 21, 2006