DEP Publishes Draft Water Quality Report, 80 Percent Of State Streams Meet Standards
The Department of Environmental Protection published notice on April 7 the draft 2012 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report is available for public comment which found 80 percent of the 84,571 miles of streams and rivers assed for aquatic life uses meet clean water standards.
Of the 16,599 miles of impaired streams, 9,801 miles require the development of a Total Maximum Daily Load Plan and 6,490 miles have an approved plan.
The primary source of impaired waterways remains Agriculture (5,705 miles), Abandoned Mine Drainage (5,596 miles), unknown (3,482 miles) and urban runoff and storm sewers (2,451 miles). Petroleum activities account for 60 miles of impaired streams, less than half of natural sources (152 miles).
Of the 80,525 acres of lakes assessed in the state, 43,194-- nearly 54 percent-- are attaining clean water standards. 11,366 acres have an approved TMDL and 20,544 acres do not require a TMDL because they are not affected by pollution. 5,420 acres acres require a TMDL.
The Integrated Report includes both a narrative description of this Commonwealth's water quality management programs (formerly the 305(b) Report) and various lists depicting the status of Commonwealth surface waters as required under section 303(d) of the Federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C.A. § 1313).
The Integrated Report is comprised of four parts and also includes a five-part list that collectively summarizes the designated use attainment status of Commonwealth surface waters.
The Department invites public comments on the draft Integrated Report. The Department must receive comments on the draft Integrated Report by May 22.
A copy of the report is available on DEP's website.
Written comments should be submitted to Molly Pulket, Division of Water Quality Standards, Bureau of Point and Non-Point Source Management, P. O. Box 8774, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8467 or send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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