Friday, July 29, 2016

4,267 More Miles Of Streams Listed As Impaired By DEP, Lower Susquehanna Not Listed

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the July 30 PA Bulletin it is making available a copy of the draft 2016 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report for public comment.
This latest report shows 4,267 more miles of streams and rivers are now impaired in Pennsylvania-- 20,149-- compared to the same report published in 2014-- 15,882.
Of the top 5 causes of impairment, the largest increase in water quality impairment was caused by agricultural runoff-- 712 miles.  This was followed closely by stormwater pollution-- 288, habitat modification- 282, acid mine drainage-- 23 and road runoff-- 9.
The report also does not proposed to list the Lower Susquehanna River as impaired because DEP feels they do not have enough information to make a judgement on impairment at this time.
In May, the Fish and Boat Commission again urged DEP to list the Lower Susquehanna River as impaired and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA has had an ongoing campaign to urge its listing.
In addition to comments of a general nature on the Integrated Report, the Department is seeking comment on the eight waters listed as high priorities for TMDL development (page 24) of the draft report).
They include-- Kishacoquillas Creek (Mifflin County), South Branch Conewago Creek (Adams/York counties), Irish Creek (Berks County), Whiteley Creek (Greene County), Pumpkin Run (Greene County), South Branch South Fork Pine Creek (Armstrong County), Casselman River (Somerset County) and Octoraro Creek (Lancaster County).
DEP has also selected 16 waters to be restored through alternatives to TMDLs (page 24 of the report).
They include-- Nuangola Lake (Luzerne County), Little Bushkill Creek (Northampton County), Deer Run (Southeast PA), Schlegel Run (Montgomery County), Wissahickon Creek (Montgomery/Philadelphia counties), Ithan Creek (Delaware County), Genesee River (Potter County), Beaver Run (Northcentral PA), Hungry Run (Mifflin County), Spring Run (Southcentral PA), Chiques Creek (Lancaster/Lebanon counties), Hamlin Run (McKean County), Railroad Run (Northwest PA), Shupe Run (Allegheny County), Beaver Run (Southwest PA) and Ross Run (Southwest PA).
August 1 Webinar
The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a webinar on August 1 at 10:00 a.m to discuss the findings of the 2016 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report and the most recent scientific research on Susquehanna River impairment.
DEP experts will discuss the latest scientific data and research on the Susquehanna River. Following the presentation there will be an opportunity for a short Q&A for accredited media.
Click Here to register or view the presentation.
Comments on the report are due September 12 and can be filed through DEP’s eComment webpage.  Comments may also be sent by email to: ecomment@pa.gov or by postal mail to: DEP Office of Policy, Rachel Carson Building, PO Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063.
A copy of the draft 2016 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report is now available online.
DEP Reports 15,882 Miles Of Streams Impaired, Down Slightly From 2012 [2014]

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