Delaware Riverkeeper Network

Take Action Login

Find Us On FacebookTwitter

Call On Governor Wolf to Protect the Delaware River Flows

Image: 
Body: 

Call On Governor Wolf to Protect the Delaware River Flows

For nearly 10 years, the four states of the Delaware River watershed and New York City have been working together to enhance the guidelines for how much water is released from the New York City reservoirs to the Delaware River.  These agreements, called the Flexible Flow Management Plan (FFMP), are intended to enhance a more draconian set of release mandates that originated with a 1954 Supreme Court decree and a 1977 DRBC docket.  The more recent FFMP agreements have benefited from a new modeling tool created by New York City that enhanced the ability to anticipate water volumes and so allowed for more beneficial flow releases that are protective of ecologically and economically important fish populations, river flow volumes and water quality.

This past year the FFMP was not renewed.  Rather than immediately revert to flow release mandates, New York City voluntarily maintained the more generous releases of the FFMP in order to protect river ecology and businesses through the summer season.  But without a deal in place soon, the City will be returning to the pre-FFMP release plan.

The FFMP stalled as other states, led by New Jersey, sought to press new terms into the deal that are highly controversial from the perspective of New York City – modifying the way the volume of water available for City use is calculated, and therefore impacting the amount of water the City is allowed to take from the Delaware River system.  While the points New Jersey has raised are most certainly valid, pressing their position by refusing to continue the FFMP while continuing to negotiate their concerns with the other states is proving a major threat to the Delaware River and all the communities that rely upon our river system.

Write Governor Wolf today and urge him to demonstrate leadership by committing to sign for an FFMP extension for another year and to press his sister states to do the same.  With leadership from Pennsylvania, the other state most directly impacted by this failing situation, it is possible that others can be convinced to do the right thing, to sign the FFMP for another year, to return to the negotiating table in good faith, and to find a solution that will best protect our River for the benefit of the greater community and the greater good.

Use the letter template at the bottom of the page to easily submit your comments to the Governor. Feel free to use the sample text provided, add to or edit it however you like, or, even better, make it wholly your own. Then, copy and paste your letter to this link: https://www.governor.pa.gov/contact/




Voluntary Releases made by NYC as of August 20
Cannonsville 323 mgd (500 cfs)
Pepacton 97 mgd (150 cfs)
Neversink 97 mgd (150 cfs)

 



Voluntary Releases made by NYC starting Sept. 5 under Table A
Cannonsville 178 mgd (275 cfs)
Pepacton 97 mgd (150 cfs)
Neversink 65 mgd (100 cfs)

 



Release Rates under Revisions 1 Aug. 16 – Oct. 31 Nov. 1 – Mar. 31
Cannonsville 24 mgd (45 cfs) 17 mgd (33 cfs)
Pepacton 37 mgd (70 cfs) 26 mgd (50 cfs)
Neversink 24 mgd (45 cfs) 13 mgd (25 cfs)

 

Use the letter below to submit your comments to Governor Wolf here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/contact/


Dear Governor Wolf,

I am writing to ask you to exercise your leadership in securing a signed Flexible Flow Management Plan (FFMP) to govern flow releases from the New York City reservoirs for the coming year.  Without an updated FFMP signed and in place by September 5, flow releases to the Delaware River will begin to be reduced by New York City.  Come October 10, releases will once again be covered by the draconian plan of the past.

Healthy flows are vital for our Delaware River and all downstream communities. The FFMP negotiations stalled due to the ongoing negotiation stalemate between New Jersey and New York City. While we understand many of New Jersey’s concerns, it is not fair, right, or necessary for our River and communities in Pennsylvania and throughout the watershed to suffer while an agreement is reached.

We urge you to demonstrate leadership in securing an FFMP extension for another year by committing to sign on and to press all involved to do the same.  With leadership from Pennsylvania, as a downstream state directly impacted by this failing situation, it is possible that others can be convinced to do the right thing—to sign the FFMP for another year, to return to the negotiating table in good faith, and to find a solution that will best protect our River for the benefit of the greater community and the greater good.

Respectfully,