Home > Newsroom > News Releases > DRBC Announces New Format for Its Next Public Hearing and Business Meeting
DRBC Announces New Format for Its Next Public Hearing and Business Meeting
Quarterly Hearings/Meetings to be Scheduled Four-to-Five Weeks Apart on Trial Basis

For Immediate Release

October 1, 2015 

(West Trenton, N.J.) -- The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) today announced that it will use a new format, on a trial basis, beginning with its next public hearing and business meeting.

"Instead of holding quarterly public hearings and business meetings on back-to-back days, the next public hearing will be held one month earlier on Nov. 10," said DRBC Executive Director Steve Tambini. 

The Nov. 10, 2015 hearing and Dec. 9, 2015 business meeting, both open to the public, will be held at the Washington Crossing Historic Park Visitor Center, 1112 River Road, in Washington Crossing, Pa.

Since March 2013, DRBC public hearings on proposed projects and resolutions were held on the day preceding the business meetings where they may be considered for commission action. Under the currently used format, comments from the public on draft project permits (referred to as "dockets" by DRBC) and resolutions are now generally accepted through the close of business on the public hearing date where oral comments can also be provided. However, situations would arise where interested parties offered substantive verbal or written comments, which made it very difficult for the commission to thoroughly consider the public input in the limited time available before the next day's business meeting for possible action by the commissioners. As a result, consideration of the project by the commissioners would need to be held over until a subsequent meeting at least three months later.

Under the new format to be used on a trial basis, a public hearing on draft project dockets and any applicable resolutions will take place on Nov. 10, which is four weeks prior to the Dec. 9 business meeting where they may be considered for commission action. Written comments on the hearing items also will be accepted until close of business (5 p.m.) on the following day, Nov. 11. As is currently the case, there will be no opportunity for additional public comments at the Dec. 9 business meeting on those items for which a hearing was completed or the written comment period already ended.

"Moving the date of the public hearing to four or five weeks preceding the business meeting will afford the commissioners and staff more time to thoroughly review and respond to the comments and concerns of interested parties," Tambini said. "We'll see how the new format works on a trial basis over the next year and make appropriate adjustments as necessary."

The DRBC also plans to afford an opportunity for Open Public Comment for up to one hour following public hearings and business meetings as time allows. During Open Public Comment, individuals may speak to DRBC commissioners and staff about any topic that is relevant to the management of the basin's waters. Comments are not recorded and are not included in any decision-making official record.

Draft dockets as well as any proposed resolutions on which the public is invited to provide verbal or written comments will continue to be posted on the DRBC web site approximately 10 days prior to the hearing date.

Additional information, including a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document about the changes to the public hearing and business meeting formats, can be found on the commission's web site at www.drbc.net.

The DRBC is a federal/interstate government agency responsible for managing the water resources within the 13,539 square-mile Delaware River Basin without regard to political boundaries. The five commission members are the governors of the basin states (Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania) and the commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' North Atlantic Division, who represents the federal government.

#  #  #  #

Contact: Kate Schmidt, Kate.Schmidt@drbc.nj.gov, (609) 883-9500 ext. 205

#  #  #  #