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2014 Draft Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report; Availability for Public Comment

[44 Pa.B. 2582]
[Saturday, April 26, 2014]

 The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) is providing for public comment its draft 2014 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report (Integrated Report). The Integrated Report includes both a narrative description of the Commonwealth's water quality management programs (formerly the 305(b) Report) and various lists depicting the status of Commonwealth surface waters as required by section 303(d) of the Federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C.A. § 1313(d)). 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.

 Section 303(d) of the Federal Clean Water Act and 40 CFR Part 130 (relating to water quality planning and management) 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.

 Waterbody assessment and compilation of the Integrated Report is an ongoing process. The Department will continue to verify the quality of data used in this process and, as needed, will publish supplements to the Integrated Report for public review and comment.

 The draft 2014 Integrated Report is available on the Department's web site at www.dep.state.pa.us (DEP Keywords ''Water Quality Standards'').

 The Department invites public comments on the draft Integrated Report. The Department must receive comments on the draft Integrated Report by June 10, 2014. 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 17105-8774 or RA-WQAssessments@pa.gov. Comments received by facsimile will not be accepted.

E. CHRISTOPHER ABRUZZO, 
Secretary

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 14-883. Filed for public inspection April 25, 2014, 9:00 a.m.]



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