Friday, April 25, 2014

DEP Publishes Report Listing Impaired Waters In Pennsylvania For Comment

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of its draft 2014 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report for public comment listing rivers, streams and lakes with impaired water quality.  The report is required by section 303(d) and 305(b) of the federal Clean Water Act.
Section 303(d) of the Federal Clean Water Act and 40 CFR Part 130 require states to identify waters which would still be impaired even after the appropriate technology has been applied to point sources and requires best management practices are in place for nonpoint sources. Waterbodies that do not meet water quality standards after this evaluation are placed on Category 5 of the Integrated Waterbody List.
For each waterbody in Category 5, Pennsylvania or the United States Environmental Protection Agency must develop Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) allocations. A TMDL is a calculation of the assimilative capacity of a waterbody to handle point and nonpoint pollutant loads without violating water quality standards.
TMDLs also describe the conditions necessary to improve water quality. TMDLs are used to set limits in National Pollution Discharge Elimination System water quality permits and identify where best management practices for nonpoint sources are necessary to improve and protect water quality.
When a TMDL is approved for a waterbody in Category 5, the waterbody listing is removed from Category 5 and placed in Category 4a.
DEP will post the draft 2014 list of impaired waters on its Water Quality Standards webpage.

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