Leading a Growing Bipartisan Effort, Patrick Murphy Urges Reservoir Action
8th District Congressman Spearheads Bipartisan Effort with Reps. from PA, NY and NJ in Calling for Reasonable Voids in New York Reservoirs to Avoid Flooding Downstream
Today, with the Delaware River Basin Commission meeting to review flood management plans, Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-8th District) led a bipartisan and multi-state effort to push for urgent action on behalf of Delaware River families. In a letter to Pamela M. Bush, Esq., Commission Secretary of the Delaware River Basin Commission, Murphy and 13 of his fellow lawmakers reaffirmed their commitment to improving life along the Delaware River and to protecting their constituents. They also renewed their request that the DRBC consider reasonable voids in New York's reservoirs to prevent future flooding downstream. The letter was signed by 14 members of Congress from Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. The voids would be used while scientific and permanent solutions are sought. Murphy's coalition included Representatives from states along the Delaware River. The other signatories include Michael Arcuri (D-NY), Robert Brady (D-PA), Christopher Carney (D-PA) Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), John Hall (D-NY), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Paul Kanjorski (D-PA), Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), Joe Sestak (D-PA) and Christopher Smith (R-NJ). Murphy, a member of the Delaware River Basin Task Force and leader of a congressional advisory board of 8th District experts and municipalities is committed to preventing and mitigating damage from flooding. This is the third and largest coalition of Delaware River representatives that Murphy has organized in writing to the DRBC. The first was in April of last year, the second in September of 2007.
"The next major storm could be right around the corner. That's why we're urging the Delaware River Basin Commission to act now and help families along the river prepare for the worst," said Congressman Patrick Murphy. "By joining together, with members of both parties and representatives from states all along the Delaware, we can deliver a powerful message. Hopefully our bipartisan effort will lead to much-needed changes and critical flood relief."
Full text of the letter below:
January 16, 2008
Pamela M. Bush, Esq.
Delaware River Basin Commission
P.O. Box 7360, 25 State Police Drive
West Trenton, NJ 08628-0360.
Dear Secretary Bush:
In September of 2007, we wrote to you, the Delaware River Basin Commission, to request sufficient room be reserved in New York's Delaware River reservoirs to protect against flooding downstream. We write you again today, to reaffirm our commitment to improving life along the Delaware River, to protect our constituents and to renew our request.
Since our last letter, there has been much discussion of the DRBC's partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers, the United States Geological Service and the National Weather Service to create a computer model of the Delaware River Basin. This development is encouraging, and we are hopeful that this model will provide much-needed information and will lead to the creation of informed and effective policies to protect both, those who live along the river, and those who rely on it for drinking water.
The unfortunate reality, however, is that this study will take more time than those living along the river can afford to lose. Moreover, our constituents have expressed a great deal of anxiety regarding the Flexible Flow Management Plan currently under consideration. Simply, they fear that the voids under that plan will not be enough to prevent a flood this spring.
Therefore we must again ask that the Delaware River Basin Commissioners act with urgency to ensure that floodwaters are reduced as much as feasibly possible. The Flexible Flow Management Plan is a start, but we believe more action is required. No one knows how much rain will fall this spring, but without urgent action, by the time we see the river's level rising we know it will be too late.
As we stated previously, you can count on our continued support for this, and all your efforts to improve life for families along the Delaware River. Please let us know if we can be of assistance in that effort. In the mean time, we again appreciate your consideration of our request.
Patrick Murphy (PA-08)
Member of Congress