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Participate in the EPA's Public Process on Water Quality Upgrade Proposal

The DRBC is sharing information about the Environmental Protection Agency's ("EPA") public process, which is now underway, in support of a proposed rule to upgrade water quality standards in the Delaware River Estuary. The rule would update the "designated use" for aquatic life and the water quality "criteria" for minimum dissolved oxygen values applicable to the portion of the tidal Delaware River that flows past Philadelphia, Camden, Chester and Wilmington.

The publication of this proposed rule represents a milestone in the effort to reach a Delaware River that fully supports aquatic life and is one step in an ongoing process to improve dissolved oxygen levels in the Delaware River Estuary.  

The DRBC has been an important part of the process leading up to this proposal and will continue to be involved, working with the EPA, our state environmental agencies and stakeholders to plan for the implementation of revised aquatic life use standards to improve water quality in the Delaware River.

We encourage all stakeholders to learn about the proposed rule and engage in the public process.

Public Hearings

EPA will hold two hearings, each affording members of the public an opportunity to offer oral comments of up to 5 minutes. You can register to speak, or to simply listen in, at the links below:

EPA requests that individuals in need of special accommodations contact Hannah Lesch at Lesch.Hannah@epa.gov, 202-566-1224, at least three weeks prior to the hearing (by Tuesday, January 16, 2024.)  

Written Comments

The comment period is now open, and EPA will accept written public comments on the proposed rule through February 20th, 2024.  See regulations.gov (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2023-0222) to learn how to submit written comments.

Additional Information

Questions about the proposed rule or public processes should be directed to the EPA.