Title 18 Part 801

Title 18 → Chapter VIII → Part 801

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 18 Part 801

e-CFR data is current as of January 31, 2019

Title 18Chapter VIII → Part 801

Title 18: Conservation of Power and Water Resources

§801.0   Introduction.

(a) The Governors of the States of New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, and a representative of the President of the United States are members of the Susquehanna River Basin Commission. The Commission is a regional governmental agency whose purpose is to effect comprehensive multiple purpose planning for the conservation, utilization, development, management, and control of the water and related natural resources of the basin, which includes part of New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

(b) The Susquehanna River Basin Compact provides broad authority for the Commission to carry out basinwide planning programs and projects, and to take independent action as it determines essential to fulfill its statutory regional governmental role.

(c) The objectives of the Commission are to:

(1) Develop cooperative and coordinated Federal, State, local, and private water and related natural resources planning within the basin,

(2) Formulate, adopt, effectuate, and keep current a comprehensive plan and a water resources program for the immediate and long-range use and development of the water resources of the basin,

(3) Provide for orderly collection and evaluation of data, and for the continuing promotion and conduct of appropriate research relating to water resources problems,

(4) Establish priorities for planning, financing subject to applicable laws, development and use of projects and facilities essential to effectively meet identified water resource needs,

(5) And to maintain these resources in a viable state.

(d) The Commission shall employ a multiobjective approach recognizing national economy, regional development and environmental quality in planning for the use and development of the water resources of the basin.

(e) It is the purpose of this document to set forth the objectives of the Commission and to present certain basic policies that (1) have basinwide application, (2) are specifically pertinent to the formulation of a comprehensive plan, (3) will serve as guidelines for all agencies or individuals with planning responsibilities for the development and use of the water resources of the basin, (4) form the basis for working relationship between the Commission and other agencies having related responsibilities in the basin. This statement will be amended and updated from time to time.

return arrow Back to Top

§801.1   Standard definitions.

(a) Many terms that will be used in official Commission documents may have slightly different meanings to various groups. To avoid confusion and to increase the clarity of the meaning the Commission applies to frequently used terms standard definitions will be utilized.

(b) The Commission will use the standard definitions set forth for the terms shown in section 1.2 of the Compact,1 and will add terms and appropriate definitions as deemed necessary.

1Filed as part of FR Doc. 72-17234, Oct. 7, 1972.

return arrow Back to Top

§801.2   Coordination, cooperation, and intergovernmental relations.

(a) The interstate nature of the Susquehanna River Basin and the broad regional authority of the Commission require clear and effective working relationships with the States, Federal Government, and local and private sectors in all matters relating to the water resources of the basin.

(1) The Federal Government will be encouraged and asked to participate in water resources projects and programs having national or broad regional significance. The Commission will act to encourage local initiative to solve water resources problems within a local and regional context, but when faced with obviously needed action that is not forthcoming from other sources will act, in accordance with the Compact, on its own.

(2) The Compact provides authority for the Commission to serve in a regulatory capacity and also to act as a managing and operating agency. The Commission will exercise its regulatory authority mainly in interstate matters or where signatory authority is not being effectively exercised or where the signatory has little or no authority to act. Similarly, the Commission may manage and operate various facilities if it is determined that this is an area in which an important and necessary service can be rendered.

(3) Should it become necessary for the Commission to undertake development, management and operation of projects, arrangements for repayment of all project costs and eventual operation and maintenance costs will be appropriately prorated among the signatories or otherwise financed in accordance with the Compact.

(4) The Commission will utilize the functions, powers, and duties of the existing offices and agencies of government to the extent consistent with the Compact.

(5) In its actions the Commission will maintain a high level of public visibility. Broad government, public, and private sector commentary on Commission proposals and findings will be invited, and to the extent possible be incorporated and reflected in decisions for finalization of plans, projects, and programs having significant effect on the water resources of the basin. A concerted effort will be made to keep the Commission and its activities readily available to government and public scrutiny, and responsive to their concerns.

(b) The Commission shall exercise its regional jurisdiction in an effort to avoid and minimize conflicts and duplication of effort and shall:

(1) Cooperate with and help coordinate Federal, State, local government, and private sector efforts in all matters relating to the planning, conservation, preservation, use, development, management and control of the water resources of the basin.

(2) Develop administrative agreements, as needed, with appropriate agencies of the signatories and other agencies to facilitate achievement of the Commission's objectives and related responsibilities of other agencies by minimizing duplication of effort and maximizing the contributions the respective agencies are best able to make.

(3) Build upon present water resources planning and related activities of the signatory parties, local government, other public bodies, and the private sector and fully consider their recommendations and suggestions.

(4) Establish advisory committees as needed for specific assignments and seek meaningful liaison with sources of technical and scientific expertise.

(5) Share with interested parties results of investigations, studies, tests, and research undertaken by the Commission in an appropriate manner and form.

(6) Conduct its regular meetings announced in advance and open to the public.

(7) Depend upon existing public and private agencies for the construction, operation, and maintenance of projects except when the project is necessary to further the comprehensive plan and the responsible agency does not act or when the Commission is asked to act by one or more signatories, one or more local governments, or other responsible entities.

(8) Require that the planning of projects affecting the water resources of the basin by Federal, State, local agencies and private organizations be undertaken in coordination with the Commission and in accordance with the Compact.

(9) Require that periodic reports of projects affecting water resources within the basin and listings of discharge permits granted, and similar activities undertaken by offices or agencies of the signatory parties, be submitted to the Commission.

return arrow Back to Top

§801.3   Allocations, diversions, withdrawals and release.

(a) The extremes in availability of water in the basin means that water will not always be available when and where it is needed. One of the responsibilities of the Commission is to act upon requests for allocations, withdrawals, or diversions of water for in-basin or out-of-basin use. Water emergencies may be expected to develop in portions of the basin due to drought conditions or other causes. The Commission will act promptly to effect alleviation of the condition to the extent posible.

(b) The Commission will require evidence that proposed interbasin transfers of water will not jeopardize, impair or limit the efficient development and management of the Susquehanna River Basin's water resources, or any aspects of these resources for in-basin use, or have a significant unfavorable impact on the resources of the basin and the receiving waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

(c) The Commission may, in making decisions on allocations, diversions, withdrawals, and releases, consider the following principles among others:

(1) That allocations, diversions, or withdrawals of water be based on the common law principles of riparian rights which entitles landholders in any watershed to draw upon the natural stream flow in reasonable amounts and be entitled to the stream flow not unreasonably diminished in quality or quantity by upstream use or diversion of water; and on the maintenance of the historic seasional variations of the flows into Chesapeake Bay.

(d) When the need arises for action on requests for allocations, diversions, or withdrawals of water from either surface or ground waters of the basin the Commission shall:

(1) Allocate waters of the basin to and among the signatory States to the Compact as the need appears, and impose related conditions, obligations, and release requirements.

(2) Determine if a proposed allocation, withdrawal or diversion is in conflict with or will significantly affect the comprehensive plan, and assure existing immediate and projected long term local and regional uses are protected.

(3) Impose conditions, obligations and release requirements for dams and/or diversion structures to protect prior local interests, downstream interests, and environmental quality.

(4) In the matter of drought, disasters or catastrophes, natural or manmade, which cause actual and immediate shortage of available and usable water supply, determine and delineate the area of shortage and by unanimous vote declare a state of water supply emergency therein, and impose direct controls on any and all allocations, diversions and uses of water to meet the emergency condition.

(5) In water emergencies coordinate the efforts of Federal, State, local, and other persons and entities in dealing with the emergency.

(6) Determine and delineate, after public hearing, areas within the basin wherein the demands upon supply made by water users have developed or threaten to develop to such a degree as to create a water shortage or impair or conflict with the comprehensive plan.

(7) When areas in need of protection from overdemand of safe yield of the supply have been delineated, declare such areas protected from further depletion, with the consent of the member or members from the affected State or States.

(8) Require that no person divert or withdraw from any protected area water for domestic, municipal, agricultural, or industrial uses in excess of such quantities as the Commission may prescribe by general regulation or pursuant to a permit granted heretofore under the laws of any of the signatory States.

return arrow Back to Top

§801.4   Project review.

(a) The Compact provides generally that no project affecting the water resources of the basin shall be undertaken by any person, governmental authority, or other entity prior to approval by the Commission.

(b) In many instances, one or more of the signatory parties will exercise project review authority regarding proposed projects in the basin coming under the review of the Commission. Accordingly the Commission will direct its attention to reviewing the completeness and effectiveness of the review procedures of the signatories and will endeavor to minimize duplication of staff effort, and time and cost to the applicant.

(c) The Commission will establish exempt categories in accordance with the section 3.10-3 of the Compact, and for projects determined not to have a substantial effect on the water resources of the basin. In dealing with Federal or federally licensed projects, the Commission will take the provisions of reservations (r) and (w) of United States Pub. L. 91-575 (84 Stat. 1509) and provisions of the Compact into account.

(d) It is expected that project review procedures will be modified following adoption of the comprehensive plan. In the meantime the Commission will:

(1) Base its review and comments pertaining to proposed projects within the basin coming under the purview of the Commission, on review and comments of signatory parties. In general, the Commission review will seek to ascertain the completeness of procedures followed by the signatory parties in their review, and will refrain from specifically rechecking detailed evaluations. (Susquehanna River Basin Commission Resolution No. 72-5)

(2) Require as it determines necessary, submission of pertinent project plans and documents for its independent review and approval. The purpose of this review will be to ascertain whether all relevant provisions of the Compact and actions taken pursuant thereto have been observed:

(i) When the Commission has determined that a project may have significant effect on the water resources of the basin.

(ii) When a proposed project does not fall under the review jurisdiction of any agency of the signatory parties.

return arrow Back to Top

§801.5   Comprehensive plan.

(a) The Compact requires that the Commission formulate and adopt a comprehensive plan for the immediate and long-range development and use of the water resources of the basin.

(1) The plan will include existing and proposed public and private programs, projects, and facilities which are required, in the judgment of the Commission, to meet present and future water resources needs of the basin. Consideration shall be given to the effect of the plan, or any part of the plan, on the receiving waters of the Chesapeake Bay. The Commission shall consult with interested public bodies and public utilities and fully consider the findings and recommendations of the signatory parties, their various subdivisions and interested groups. Prior to adoption of the plan the Commission shall conduct at least one public hearing in each signatory State.

(2) The plan will reflect consideration, of the multiobjectives of national economy, regional development and environmental quality; and multipurpose use of projects.

(3) Water quantity and water quality planning will be studied together and correlated to the extent feasible, with existing and proposed land uses. The development of a basinwide land use study to enable full consideration of basic and alternative proposals to meet water resources needs will be explored.

(4) An important phase of the plan formulation process is a thorough review and evaluation of the Susquehanna River Basin Coordinating Committee Study report, pertinent plans and reports of the signatories, including water quality standards and other data available. The findings and recommendations presented in the Susquehanna River Basin Coordinating Committee Study report will be considered for incorporation in the Commission's plan to the extent they are feasible and compatible with the current and projected needs and interests.

(5) Essentially the comprehensive plan will reflect the findings of an analysis of a mix of alternative futures for industrial, agricultural, residential, and recreational development in the basin.

(6) The Commission will act diligently to promote Federal, State, local governmental, and private sector cooperation and coordination in the implementation of the adopted plan. It is expected that recommended development programs will be undertaken by the signatories, local governmental agencies, or private interests. If expeditious action by others is not forthcoming or is not possible the Commission will act in accordance with the Compact to implement programs, projects, and standards to the extent necessary to further the aims of the comprehensive plan.

(b) The comprehensive plan shall provide for the immediate and long-range use, development, conservation, preservation, and management of the water resources of the basin. The plan will be presented in a form and order as determined by the Commission and shall include, but not be limited to the following:

(1) Statement of authority, purpose, objectives, and scope.

(2) Description of the physical and human environment.

(3) Inventory of the basin's water resources and existing developments and facilities.

(4) Projection of immediate and long-range water resources needs of the basin.

(5) Description of a general system of measures and programs, including water quality and other standards as determined necessary, and reasonable alternatives considered essential to and capable of satisfying water resources needs into the reasonably foreseeable future.

(6) Criteria used for review and acceptance of projects within the plan.

(7) Procedures for updating and modifying the plan.

(8) Necessary appendices.

return arrow Back to Top

§801.6   Water supply.

(a) The Susquehanna River Basin is rich in water resources. With proper planning and management, and with adequate public and private investment in treatment, storage, and distribution facilities, the high potential of the basin to provide water of suitable quality for a wide array of public and private purposes into the foreseeable future should be possible.

(b) The Commission may regulate the withdrawal of waters of the basin not regulated by the signatory parties for domestic, municipal, industrial, and agricultural uses if regulation is considered essential to further the aims set forth in the comprehensive plan.

(c) The Commission shall study the basin's water supply needs, the potential surface and ground water resources, and the interrelationships to meet these needs through existing and new facilities and projects. Efficient use and management of existing facilities with emphasis on the full utilization of known technology will be explored in meeting water supply needs for domestic, municipal, agricultural, and industrial water supply before new programs or projects are approved.

return arrow Back to Top

§801.7   Water quality.

(a) The signatory States have the primary responsibility in the basin for water quality management and control. However, protection of the water resources of the basin from pollution, and actions by the signatory parties to achieve abatement and control of pollution are important to the Commission.

(b) The signatory parties have adopted water quality standards for the intra and interstate waters of the basin. Initially these standards will serve as the basis for the Commission's water quality program in the comprehensive plan.

(c) The Commission's role in water quality management and control essentially will be one of coordination to ensure water quality standards are adequate to protect broad public water resources interests, and that uniform policies and enforcement are affected by the signatories.

(d) The Commission shall:

(1) Encourage and coordinate efforts of the signatory parties to prevent, reduce, control, and eliminate water pollution and to maintain water quality in accordance with established standards.

(2) Promote government and private sector implementation of maximum practical use of waste utilization and treatment technology.

(3) Promote and encourage State and local governments and industry to plan for regional waste water treatment and management.

(4) In cooperation with appropriate agencies of the signatory parties, make periodic inspections to ascertain the state of compliance with appropriate water quality standards, and as needed establish and operate water quality monitoring stations.

[38 FR 4662, Feb. 20, 1973, as amended at 38 FR 6386, Mar. 9, 1973]

return arrow Back to Top

§801.8   Flood plain management and protection.

(a) Periodic inundation of lands along waterways has not discouraged development of flood hazards areas. Major floods cause loss of life, extensive damages, and other conditions not in the public interest. A balanced flood plain management and protection program is needed to reduce the flood hazard to a minimum.

(b) The Commission may regulate the use of flood prone lands with approval of the appropriate signatory party, to safeguard public health, welfare, safety and property, and to sustain economic development.

(c) To foster sound flood plain controls, as an essential part of water resources management, the Commission shall:

(1) Encourage and coordinate the efforts of the signatory parties to control modification of the Susquehanna River and its tributaries by encroachment.

(2) Plan and promote implementation of projects and programs of a structural and nonstructural nature for the protection of flood plains subject to frequent flooding.

(3) Assist in the study and classification of flood prone lands to ascertain the relative risk of flooding, and establish standards for flood plain management.

(4) Promote the use of flood insurance by helping localities qualify for the national program.

(5) Assist in the development of a modern flood forecasting and warning system.

return arrow Back to Top

§801.9   Watershed management.

(a) The character, extent, and quality of water resources of a given watershed are strongly affected by the land use practices within that watershed. Accordingly the Commission will maintain close liaison with Federal, State, and local highway, mining, soil, forest, fish and wildlife, and recreation agencies and with government agencies dealing with urban and residential development programs.

(b) The Commission shall:

(1) Promote sound practices of watershed management including soil and water conservation measures, land restoration and rehabilitation, erosion control, forest management, improvement of fish and wildlife habitat, and land use in highway, urban, and residential development as related to water resources.

return arrow Back to Top

§801.10   Recreation.

(a) The use of surface water resources of the basin for recreation purposes is extensive. Swimming, fishing, boating, and other water oriented activities have regional and local economic benefit as well as recreational benefit.

(b) The Commission shall cooperate with public and private agencies in the planning and development of water-related recreation and fish and wildlife programs and projects within the basin and shall:

(1) Promote public access to and recreational use of existing and future public water areas.

(2) Promote recreational use of public water supply reservoirs and lakes where adequate treatment of water is provided, and/or where recreational uses are compatible with primary project purposes.

(3) Include recreation as a purpose where feasible, in multipurpose water use planning of reservoirs and other water bodies.

return arrow Back to Top

§801.11   Public values.

(a) The basin has many points of archeological and historic interest, and is well endowed with vistas of aesthetic significance.

(b) The Commission fully recognizes that the value of these areas cannot be measured simply in economic terms and will strive to preserve and promote them for the enjoyment and enrichment of present and future generations.

(c) The Commission shall:

(1) Seek the advice and assistance of appropriate societies and governmental agencies in the identification of archeological, historic, and scenic areas and unique lands in any planning or development affecting these attributes of the basin.

return arrow Back to Top

§801.12   Electric power generation.

(a) Significant uses are presently being made of the waters of the basin for the generation of electric power at hydro, pumped storage, and thermoelectric generating stations. Increased demands for electric power throughout the East Coast can be expected to result in proposals for the development of additional electric power generating stations located either in the basin or nearby its borders.

(b) There appears to be limited site potential in the basin for additional hydroelectric generation, and considerable potential for additional pumped storage and thermoelectric generation. The direct and indirect effects of existing and proposed electric generation projects will be considered by the Commission. Items of concern will include consumptive uses of water, alteration of natural stream regimen, effects on water quality, and on the other uses of the streams affected.

(c) The Commission, in cooperation with appropriate agencies of the signatory parties, and with other public and private agencies shall:

(1) Conduct a thorough review of applications to relicense existing electric power generating projects and facilities, and applications to amend existing licenses to determine if the proposal is in accord with the comprehensive plan.

(2) Require that the proposed siting and location in the basin of any type of electric generating facility or any facility located outside the basin having an effect on the waters of the basin, shall be planned in direct consultation with the Commission to enable advance consideration of the possible effects of such installation on the water resources of the basin.

return arrow Back to Top

§801.13   Proviso.

(a) This part is promulgated pursuant to sections 3.1, 3.5(1), and 15.2 of the Compact and shall be construed and applied subject to all of the terms and conditions of the Compact and of the provisions of Pub. L. 91-575, 84 Stat. 1509: Provided, Any provision in this statement of general policies that is inconsistent with the Compact itself shall be null and void.

return arrow Back to Top

§801.14   Public access to records.

(a) Purpose. The Commission, as an independent compact agency, is not subject to any of its member jurisdictions' laws regarding public access to records. Nevertheless, the Commission wishes to assure, to the maximum extent practicable, the availability of Commission records consistent with the Susquehanna River Basin Compact. The Commission shall maintain an “Access to Records Policy” that outlines the details and procedures related to public access to the Commission's records. Any revisions to this policy shall be consistent with this section and undertaken in accordance with appropriate public notice and comment consistent with requirements of 18 CFR 808.1(b).

(b) Scope. This section shall apply to all recorded information, regardless of whether the information exists in written or electronic format. There is a strong presumption that records shall be public, except where considerations of privacy, confidentiality, and security must be considered and require thoughtful balancing. The Commission shall identify types of records that are not subject to public access:

(1) Personnel or employment records, excluding salary information;

(2) Trade secrets, copyrighted material, or any other confidential business information;

(3) Records exempted from disclosure by statute, regulation, court order, or recognized privilege;

(4) Records reflecting internal pre-decisional deliberations, including deliberations between the commission and representatives of member jurisdictions;

(5) Records reflecting employee medical information, evaluations, tests or other identifiable health information;

(6) Records reflecting employee personal information, such as social security number, driver's license number, personal financial information, home addresses, home or personal cellular numbers, confidential personal information, spouse names, marital status or dependent information;

(7) Investigatory or enforcement records that would interfere with active enforcement proceedings or individual due process rights, disclose the identity of public complainants or confidential sources or investigative techniques or endanger the life or safety of Commission personnel; or

(8) Records related to critical infrastructure, excluding financial records, emergency procedures, or facilities.

(c) Procedures. The Access to Records Policy will detail the necessary procedures for requesting records and processing records requests:

(1) Requests shall be in writing and shall be reasonably specific;

(2) The Commission shall identify an Access to Records Officer to handle requests;

(3) The Commission shall respond to a records request within a reasonable time and in consideration of available resources and the nature of the request;

(4) The Commission shall not be required to create a record that does not already exist, or to compile, maintain, format or organize a public record in a manner in which the Commission does not currently practice;

(5) A procedure shall be identified for electronic transfer, copying or otherwise providing records in a manner that maintains the integrity of the Commission's files; and

(6) A procedure shall be identified for handling review of requests that seek access to information that has been identified as confidential and for notifying the person(s) who submitted the confidential information that it is subject to a records request.

(d) Fees. The Commission shall adopt and maintain a “Records Processing Fee Schedule.” The fees shall be calculated to reflect the actual costs to the Commission for processing records requests and may include the costs of reproducing records and the cost to search, prepare and/or redact records for extraordinary requests.

(e) Appeals. Any person aggrieved by a Commission action on a records request shall have 30 days to appeal a decision in accordance with 18 CFR 808.2.

(f) Disclosure to consultants, advisory committees, and State and local government officials and employees. Data and information otherwise exempt from public disclosure may be disclosed to Commission consultants, advisory committees, and state and local government officials and employees for use only in their work in cooperation with the Commission. Such persons are thereafter subject to the same restrictions with respect to the disclosure of such data and information as any other Commission employee.

[83 FR 11876, Mar. 19, 2018]

return arrow Back to Top