North Pocono CARE succeeds in Securing Exceptional Value Designation for Lehigh River Headwaters
On May 22, 2002, the Environmental Quality Board accepted two rulemaking petitions for study under 25 Pa. Code Chapter 23 (relating to Environmental Quality Board policy for processing petitions–statement of policy).
One of the petitions was submitted by North Pocono CARE and requests that a portion of the Lehigh River (source to Tobyhanna Creek), which borders Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe and Wayne Counties, be redesignated from High Quality-Cold Water Fishes (CWF) to Exceptional Value waters. This was an extensive petition, covering over 20 miles of the main stem of the Lehigh River and a total of 219 stream miles including all of the tributaries in that section.
In March of 2010, the Department of Environmental Protection completed its evaluation of the upper Lehigh River (source to Tobyhanna Creek) and its draft stream evaluation report was made available to the public. In its report, the Department recommended the reclassification of the upper Lehigh River to Exceptional Value. Later that year, following a thorough review, the Environmental Quality Board agreed with the Department’s recommendation, granted North Pocono CARE’s petition, and reclassified over 219 stream miles as Exceptional Value.