Tuesday, August 22, 2017

EQB Approves Redesignation Of Mill Creek, Schuylkill Watershed To Exceptional Value

On August 15 the  Environmental Quality Board approved redesignation of Mill Creek in the Schuylkill River Watershed as an Exceptional Value stream. The redesignation request was originally submitted to the Board in 2011.
The multi-year effort to upgrade this stream began in 2009 when the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and Berks County Conservation District sampled this tributary to the Schuylkill River and determined it had healthy stream life indicative of other Exceptional Value streams in the region.
Delaware Riverkeeper Network submitted a petition and this data to DEP in February 2011 for the re-designation of Mill Creek from Warm Water Fishery, Migratory Fishery (WWF, MF) to Exceptional Value, Migratory Fishery (EV, MF).  
At that time the DRN petition had support from 65 residents and co-petitioners that included the Berks County Conservation District, the Township of Union Environmental Advisory Council, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and Berks Conservancy.
The new EV designation provides additional protections to the stream, although the new designation falls short of the complete upgrade DRN was seeking – it applies to 5.6 miles of the 7.7 stream miles.
DRN petitioned for EV status of the Mill Creek in its entirety and submitted subsequent data to the DEP by volunteer monitors and others to support including the excluded Snyder’s Run tributary, but DEP did not grant EV protection to that tributary.
DRN will continue to work with interested landowners to enhance and improve riparian buffers along the remaining WWF, MF segment to advocate for it receiving a higher designation in future years.
“Mill Creek is a source of clean, fresh and healthy water. We must preserve our exceptional waterways and protect them from pollution and harm so we can honor our commitment to present future generations a resource that is healthy and thriving. We are pleased that Pennsylvania's Exceptional Value status is given to Mill Creek as we have petitioned for, as it is an important step to ensure all of our communities can continue to benefit from these waterways," said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper.
“A stream re-designation upgrade, often spurred by local volunteer community monitors, takes years to work through the regulatory process, but it’s a great week for Mill Creek and a few other tributaries in the Delaware River Basin that got the green light from the PA Environmental Quality Board this week, including Sobers Run and Swiftwater Creek that also received upgrades. On the downside, Pickering Creek and Dwarfskille Creek did not receive the upgrades community groups were seeking,” Faith Zerbe, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, said.
The final regulation making the redesignation will now go to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission and the House and Senate environmental committees for review as required by the state Regulatory Review Act.
Click Here for a copy of the final redesignation package.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner