At the request of Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon), the House Majority Policy Committee will convene a virtual hearing later this month to discuss issues related to the ongoing reevaluation study of the Francis E. Walter Dam and Reservoir by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The committee is chaired by Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter).
The virtual hearing will be held on Thursday, March 18, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Members of the public can view the proceedings live at www.pahousegop.com/livestreams
and at www.repheffley.com/livestreams
“Like many local residents, I have some serious concerns about the impact the study may have on the future of tourism and outdoor recreation in our region,” said Heffley. “I am grateful Chairman Causer and the committee have agreed to conduct an in-depth look at this issue and the possible economic consequences for northeastern Pennsylvania.”
The corps began the feasibility reevaluation study last year to examine whether potential improvements to infrastructure or operational methods could allow water in the reservoir to be used for other purposes to support the ecological health of the Delaware River Basin. In particular, officials will consider management options that could release additional water under drought conditions to help reduce salinity downstream.
“The Policy Committee understands and appreciates the significant value that the Lehigh River brings to the region’s tourism businesses,” Causer added. “This hearing will give the committee a better understanding of the status of the Army Corp’s reevaluation study of the Francis E. Walter Dam and the impact of any changes to the water flow.”
Those expected to testify include officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Delaware River Basin Commission, and New York City Department of Environmental Protection, along with the Carbon County commissioners, several business owners and representatives of economic development associations in the Pocono region.
A listing of confirmed testifiers will be released closer to the hearing date.
Representative Doyle Heffley
122nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives