Friday, January 31, 2020

Independent Regulatory Review Commission Approves Final Triennial Water Quality Standards, Stream Designation Regulation

DEP is required to review, revise and update, as needed, at least once every three years, water quality criteria and standards to reflect the latest scientific information and new federal guidelines for criteria development, and other implementation guidance.
The EQB adopted the Triennial regulation for comment in April of 2017 and held four public hearings on the proposal.  It was adopted as a final rule in November, 2019.
Among other issues, the regulation deals with setting standards for ammonia and bacteria, makes changes to stream designations for a variety of streams and providing for exceptions for fishable and swimmable waters.
On January 22, Republicans on the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee voted to send a letter to the IRRC recommending they disapprove the regulation.  Click Here for more.
The recommendation was based on comments presented to the Committee by the American Forest and Paper Association and the Monroe County Clean Streams Coalition, a group of business landowners who have been challenging stream redesignations in the Pocono Region. Click Here for more.
The IRRC received comments from four parties on the regulation, the two business groups, the House Committee and PennFuture, who supported the regulation.
The House Committee still has an opportunity to block the regulation by reporting out a concurrent House-Senate resolution disapproving of the regulation that must be passed by both chambers and presented to the Governor for his action.
A copy of the regulation, supporting documents and DEP’s presentation to the EQB can be found on the Environmental Quality Board 2019 meetings webpage for November.
Related Articles:
[Posted: January 31, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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