Final Rulemaking – Adopted June 2017

Susquehanna River Basin Commission   

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Final Rulemaking – Adopted June 2017

On June 16, 2017, the Commission adopted a final rulemaking to amend several of its regulations. The new rulemaking becomes effective on July 1, 2017. Registration of grandfathered projects will begin on January 1, 2018.

Below is a summary of the changes.

Review and Approval of Projects

Several sections align the regulations with existing practice, but provide for improved clarity and additional detail related to information needed during the application submittal and review process. There are also specific requirements for projects such as mine and construction dewatering, water resource remediation, and abandoned mine drainage remediation facilities, as well as a required alternative analysis for a proposed surface water withdrawal in settings with exceptional water quality or with a drainage area of 50 square miles or less.

Mitigation of Consumptive Use

Based on the number of detailed comments that were received, the Commission will not move forward at this time with changes to the Consumptive Use Mitigation Policy and revisions to the consumptive use mitigation rule. The Commission will further examine and reevaluate its policies and procedures for consumptive use and consumptive use mitigation during 2018.

Registration of Grandfathered Projects

These sections require projects that are exempt from Commission review and approval -due to their operations predating regulations - to register within a two-year window in order to preserve this exemption.

Determination of grandfathered quantities will consider withdrawal and use data and the peak consecutive 30-day averages shown by all data submitted, including recent data from at least the last five years of operation, and will allow grandfathered projects sufficient margin for operational flexibility. Where existing state registration data exists, we will work with registrants to prevent duplication of any efforts associated with reported data.

This registration program and ongoing reporting requirements will enable the Commission to accurately account for existing water uses to properly manage the water resources of the Basin.

The Commission also adopted a Regulatory Fee Schedule that sets the fees for registration for grandfathered projects. Please note that registration is free of charge for the first six months. The fee schedule is available at

Online registration will begin on January 1, 2018.

Hearings and Enforcement Actions

This section adds greater clarity and efficiencies to the Commission’s hearing and appeals process, and allows the Executive Director to resolve compliance and enforcement issues and allows the Commissioners to hear any appeals regarding actions taken by the Executive Director.

Public Outreach

The Commission intends to hold several informational webinars to explain the grandfathering registration process during the Fall of 2017. The Commission will notify potential projects about the webinars by both electronic and direct mail.

Comment Response Document on Proposed Rulemaking

Final Rulemaking Published in the Federal Register