H.R. 6364

To amend the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Improvement Act to extend the exception to the closure of certain roads within the Recreation Area for local businesses

STATEMENT OF LENA MCDOWALL, DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, FORESTS, AND PUBLIC LANDS, CONCERNING H.R. 6364 TO AMEND THE DELAWARE WATER GAP NATIONAL RECREATION AREA IMPROVEMENT ACT TO EXTEND THE EXCEPTION TO THE CLOSURE OF CERTAIN ROADS WITHIN THE RECREATION AREA FOR LOCAL BUSINSSES

JUNE 14, 2022

Chair Neguse, Ranking Member Fulcher, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to present the Department of the Interior’s views on H.R. 6364, a bill to amend the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Improvement Act to extend the exception to the closure of certain roads within the recreation area for local businesses.

The Department supports H.R. 6364.   

H.R. 6364 would amend Section 4(b) of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Improvement Act (P.L. 109-156 as amended) to extend the use of certain roads within Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area through September 30, 2026. The bill would extend the authority of the National Park Service (NPS) to allow commercial vehicles serving local businesses to use Federal Road 209 through a permit and fee program. The current authority expires on September 30, 2022.  

The extension would authorize the park to continue issuing permits to commercial vehicle operators owned by businesses located in or adjacent to the recreation area or necessary to provide services to businesses or persons located in or adjacent to the recreation area enabling them to travel through the park. Route 209 provides a safe, efficient and cost-effective transportation route for these adjacent communities. This permitted access contributes to the economic vitality, public safety and quality of life of the park’s adjacent communities.

Permits are not required for local school buses, and fire, ambulance, and other safety or emergency vehicles.  

Finally, the Department would like to work with the sponsor and Committee on a technical edit to the public law reference in the bill.

Chair Neguse, this concludes my statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the Subcommittee may have.

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