[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 90 (Friday, May 9, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 26615]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-10459]


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DELAWARE RIVER BASIN COMMISSION

18 CFR Part 410


Notice of Final Rulemaking; Amendments to the Water Quality 
Regulations, Water Code and Comprehensive Plan To Update Water Quality 
Criteria for pH

AGENCY: Delaware River Basin Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: By Resolution No. 2013-9 on December 4, 2013, the Delaware 
River Basin Commission (``DRBC'' or ``Commission'') approved amendments 
to the Commission's Water Quality Regulations, Water Code and 
Comprehensive Plan to update the Commission's stream quality objectives 
for pH in interstate tidal and non-tidal reaches of the main stem 
Delaware River.

DATES: This regulation is effective June 9, 2014. The incorporation by 
reference of the publications listed in this rule is approved by the 
Director of the Federal Register of Regulations as of June 9, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Pamela M. Bush, Commission Secretary 
and Assistant General Counsel by phoning 609-883-9500 Ext. 203, or by 
email to pamela.bush@drbc.state.nj.us.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Delaware River Basin Commission is a 
federal-state regional agency charged with managing the water resources 
of the Delaware River Basin without regard to political boundaries. Its 
members are the governors of the four basin states--Delaware, New 
Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania--and the North Atlantic Division 
Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, representing the federal 
government.
    Notice of the proposed amendments appeared in the Federal Register 
(78 FR 58985) on September 25, 2013 as well as in the Delaware Register 
of Regulations (17 DE Reg. 365) on October 1, 2013, the New Jersey 
Register (45 N.J.R. 2201) on October 7, 2013, the New York State 
Register (page 13) on October 9, 2013 and the Pennsylvania Bulletin (43 
Pa.B. 5995) on October 12, 2013. Notice of the proposed changes also 
was published on the Commission's Web site on September 20, 2013. A 
public hearing was held on October 24, 2013 and written comments were 
accepted through November 21, 2013. No written or oral comments were 
received.
    The Commission's current criteria for pH in interstate streams were 
adopted in 1967. Today, these criteria are inconsistent with 
scientists' increased understanding of natural fluctuations in 
freshwater and saltwater pH levels and with modern applications of pH 
criteria. The amendments approved by the Commission on December 4, 2013 
will minimize regulatory inconsistencies and better address natural pH 
cycles in the main stem Delaware River. First, they will increase from 
6.0 to 6.5 the lower threshold of the range of acceptable pH conditions 
in non-tidal zones of the main stem--DRBC Water Quality Zones 1A 
through 1E. Second, they will add a clause to the pH criteria for all 
interstate tidal and non-tidal water quality zones, recognizing natural 
deviations outside the 6.5 to 8.5 pH range. In accordance with these 
changes, the pH criteria for Water Quality Zones 1A through IE (the 
non-tidal main stem) and 2 through 6 (the tidal main stem and tidal 
portions of tributaries) will read, ``Between 6.5 and 8.5 inclusive, 
unless outside this range due to natural conditions.''
    The affected sections of the commission's Water Code and Water 
Quality Regulations consist of subsection C.3 of each of sections 
3.20.2 through 3.20.6, respectively, for Water Quality Zones 1A through 
1E (non-tidal main stem); and sections 3.30.2 through 3.30.6, 
respectively, for Water Quality Zones 2 through 6 (tidal main stem and 
tidal portions of tributaries). (The affected sections relating to 
Water Quality Zones 1A through 1E were incorrectly identified as 
sections 2.20.2 and 2.20.6 in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. 
Sections 2.20.2 through 2.20.6 of the Water Code are part of an 
unrelated article; no sections numbered 2.20.2 through 2.20.6 exist in 
the Water Quality Regulations.)
    The complete text of Resolution No. 2013-9, the Water Code, the 
Administrative Manual Part III--Water Quality Regulations, a basis and 
background document setting forth the technical basis for the 
amendments, and additional documents concerning pH criteria for 
interstate non-tidal and tidal reaches of the main stem Delaware River 
are available on the Commission's Web site, DRBC.net. Copies also may 
be obtained from the Commission's Secretary and Assistant General 
Counsel at the telephone number and email address listed above. A 
charge for printing and mailing may apply.

List of Subjects in 18 CFR Part 410

    Incorporation by reference, Water audit, Water pollution control, 
Water reservoirs, Water supply, Watersheds.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Delaware River Basin 
Commission amends part 410 of title 18 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations as follows:

PART 410--BASIN REGULATIONS; WATER CODE AND ADMINISTRATIVE MANUAL--
PART III WATER QUALITY REGULATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 410 continues to read:

    Authority:  Delaware River Basin Compact, 75 Stat. 688.


0
2. In Sec.  410.1, revise paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  410.1  Basin Regulations--Water Code and Administrative Manual--
Part III Water Quality Regulations.

* * * * *
    (c) Work, services, activities and facilities affecting the 
conservation, utilization, control, development or management of water 
resources within the Delaware River Basin are subject to regulations 
contained within the Delaware River Basin Water Code with Amendments 
Through December 4, 2013 and the Administrative Manual--Part III Water 
Quality Regulations with Amendments Through December 4, 2013. Both the 
Delaware River Basin Water Code and the Administrative Manual--Part III 
Water Quality Regulations are incorporated by reference into this part 
with the approval of the Director of the Federal Register under 5 
U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. You may obtain or inspect copies at 
the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), 25 State Police Drive, West 
Trenton, New Jersey 08628-0360, 609-883-9500, http://www.drbc.net, or 
at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For 
information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-
6030 or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    Dated: May 1, 2014.
Pamela M. Bush,
Commission Secretary and Assistant General Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2014-10459 Filed 5-8-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6360-01-P