Valley portion of Susquehanna disputed
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The portion of the Susquehanna River in The Valley is impaired, but not officially ‘impaired.’ Despite pollution and fish ailments, DEP won’t make the declaration of a impaired river because of lack of evidence, but that angers another state agency.
Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission says people who are concerned about the health of the Susquehanna River should contact their senators and congressmen, since the state’s environmental agency won’t place the river on a path for clean-up.
The unusual dispute between two state agencies began Monday when the Department of Environmental Protection said it won’t list a part of the river as impaired, or severely polluted.
Tuesday, the Fish & Boat Commission responded that DEP “has been unwilling to openly reveal the science that guides them” and that discussion between the two agencies “cannot continue unless DEP is forthcoming with their data.” The commission says citizens and Congress should appeal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The DEP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The key to the dispute is–DEP is controlled by the governor, and his political leanings, while the state Fish and Boat Commission is an independent agency whose primary concern is science, protecting the waterways and enhancing fisheries.