– Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) attended the public meeting concerning the reevaluation study of the Francis E. Walter Dam that was held in White Haven on Thursday night. He also spoke during the meeting, which was hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its partners, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NY DEP).
Heffley today issued the following statement regarding the meeting and his concerns as the study moves forward.
“I was very happy with the large turnout for the meeting. Pennsylvanians must be vigilant defenders of our natural resources to ensure that future generations have the right to clean air and water.
“The fact that New York City is so involved in this study should be a cause of concern. As we move through the process over the next few years, our state legislative delegation will be working hard to ensure the Commonwealth’s interests are heard because, once the dam is built, it will be too late, and we can potentially lose control over the use of our water.
“The New York City Water Authority, which also supplies water for a fee to northern New Jersey and the surrounding area, has a history of only looking out for its own interests. We must ensure that there remains capacity for flood control as well as recreational activities, including fishing and boating, here in Pennsylvania.
“We also need to keep in mind that this is a pilot study by the federal government, DRBC and NY DEP, with federal funding that was approved in 2014. This study could serve as a national model. For decades large metropolitan areas have been aggressively pursuing water rights to lock up resources with total disregard for rural stake holders.
“If this study, funded in large part by NYC, concludes that Pennsylvania’s rights to its own water resources are secondary to New York’s, we will be losing out to an urban area with more political clout, and that’s something which should be of great concern to those of us in rural communities.”
Heffley reminded concerned residents that the corps is accepting written comments by email, at PDPA-NAP@usace.army.mil, or in writing. The address is USACE Philadelphia District
Planning Division, 100 Penn Square E., Philadelphia, PA 19107
Representative Doyle Heffley
122nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Andy Briggs