Water Quality Standards: Delaware River
On December 13, 2023, the EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan signed a proposed rule to revise the aquatic life designated use and dissolved oxygen water quality criteria applicable to Zone 3, Zone 4, and the upper portion of Zone 5 of the Delaware River (in total, river miles 108.4 to 70.0; approximately from Philadelphia, PA to Wilmington, DE). The EPA is proposing this rule, Water Quality Standards to Protect Aquatic Life in the Delaware River, to ensure that the aquatic life designated uses and dissolved oxygen criteria are set at levels that protect all life stages of oxygen-sensitive species in those zones of the Delaware River, including two species of sturgeon that are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
- Proposed Rule: Water Quality Standards To Protect Aquatic Life in the Delaware River
- On January 8, 2024, the Federal Register issued a correction to amend the formatting of Table 7. No substantive changes were made.
- Press Release: EPA Proposes Water Quality Standards to Protect Aquatic Life in Certain Sections of the Delaware River
- Fact Sheet: Proposed Rule to Establish Protective Water Quality Standards for Aquatic Life in the Delaware River (pdf)
- Technical Support Document: Proposed Rule to Establish Protective Water Quality Standards for Aquatic Life in the Delaware River (pdf)
Comments on the Proposal
EPA accepted comments on this proposed rule during the 60-day comment period which ended February 20, 2024. Public comments on the proposed rule were submitted to regulations.gov (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2023-0222).
EPA held two public hearings during the public comment period.
- Tuesday, February 6, 2024, from 9:00 to 11:00 AM Eastern Time
- Wednesday, February 7, 2024, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM Eastern Time
EPA will consider all oral comments provided during the hearings along with written comments submitted via the docket for this rulemaking (available at Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2023-0222).