DEP Schedules Meetings on Water Plan

Pennsylvanians will have a chance to provide input on how the commonwealth manages its vast water resources during a series of public meetings to be held across the state this month, according to a Sept. 3 press release.

The Department of Environmental Protection, along with members of six regional water resources committees, will accept testimony on the draft state water plan that is being developed in accordance with the Water Resources Planning Act.

"This document will serve as a blueprint that guides sustainable water use throughout the commonwealth for the next 30 years," said DEP Deputy Secretary for Water Management Cathy Curran Myers. "Our water resources are important to our economy and our quality of life, so it's essential that we have a plan in place that ensures that we are good stewards of these precious assets. Once finalized, this plan will serve as a tool for everyone—for the public, for municipalities, and for businesses interested in creating jobs here."

The Waters Resources Act requires DEP to develop a new state water plan that includes inventories of water availability, an assessment of current and future water demands, an evaluation of resource management alternatives, and proposed methods of implementing recommended actions. Developing the plan is the first step in analyzing problems and needs associated with specific water-related activities, such as navigation, stormwater management, and flood control.

Each public meeting will be preceded by an open house from 5 to 6 p.m. to give people a chance to review displays and maps of the respective regions. DEP staff and members of the respective regional committees will give presentations on the draft plan and conduct an informal discussion period. They will accept formal comments on the draft plan beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Anyone planning to testify should register in advance by contacting Karen Price at 717-783-9499 or by e-mailing kprice@state.pa.us. A written copy of the testimony should be provided to department staff at the hearings. Written testimony also will be accepted through Sept. 30 and may be sent to Leslie Sarvis, DEP Water Planning Office, P.O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063.

The draft state water plan and agendas for each meeting are available through the Public Participation link at www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: Participate.

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