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DRAFT 2018 PENNSYLVANIA INTEGRATED WATER QUALITY MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT REPORT

Clean Water Act

Section 303(d) List and 305(b) Report

ASAPH RUN NEAR WELLSBORO, PA

Mission

The mission of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is to protect Pennsylvania’s air, land and water from pollution and to provide for the health and safety of its citizens through a cleaner environment. We work as partners with individuals, organizations, governments and businesses to prevent pollution and restore our natural resources.

Welcome!

Please scroll down to view the Integrated Report or use the top and side menus to jump to a topic. If problems are encountered while viewing content, please try opening the website using another web browser. Changing the browser zoom level may also provide a better user experience.

Public participation for this Integrated Report will be from (April 20th, 2019 to June 4th, 2019). DEP encourages the public to provide constructive comments during this period. To submit comments, and see comments from other individuals, please visit the eComment tooleComment. The links to view and comment on the Integrated Report will be made available in the “Open Comment Periods” section at the top of the eComment website during the public comment period. Written comments can also be mailed to Department of Environmental Protection, Policy Office, Rachel Carson State Office Building, P.O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105. DEP suggests that comments be organized using the main headings above (e.g., Introduction, Section 303(d), Section 305(b), etc.), or by using the subheadings to the left of the screen and titled in BLUE on each slide (e.g., Home, Mission, Purpose, etc.). Simply hover over the gray dots to the left of the screen to see all subheadings and navigate to them at any point. Persons in need of accommodations as provided for in the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 should contact DEP’s Water Quality Division at 717-787-9637 or through the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at 800-654-5984 (TTD) to discuss how DEP may accommodate their needs.

PA Department of Environmental Protection


Disclaimer: The information contained in this report is based on the data contained in DEP information systems and reports at the time of publication. Most information pertains to the biennial reporting period (October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2017); however, some information may cover longer periods of record. Some datasets may be incomplete due to DEP’s jurisdictional restrictions.


PURPOSE

This report is the thirteenth in a series of reports prepared for Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 303(d) listing, and Section 305(b) reporting. This listing and report are compiled and submitted to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) once every two years. Unlike the 305(b) report, EPA must approve or disapprove the 303(d) list.

The narrative that follows contains the data and results used to satisfy the requirements of Sections 303(d) and 305(b). This report covers the current status of Pennsylvania's waters and summarizes various programs in place to protect and improve water quality.

Although reporting for the CWA has a long history, this is the first time an Integrated Report has been created in an entirely interactive format by any state in the country. This offers the ability to convey tremendous amounts of information in a way that is much easier to understand. DEP hopes this will greatly increase transparency and public understanding of the programs in place to protect our waters. Click here to discover more DEP interactive websites, mapping applications, and story maps.




Clean Water Act Introduction

PENNSYLVANIA WATER RESOURCES

Pennsylvania is a water rich state with approximately 85,000 miles of streams and rivers connecting over 700,000 acres of lakes, bays, and wetlands. Protection of these waters and the groundwater below is a challenging, but vital mission.


ATLAS OF SURFACE WATER IN PENNSYLVANNIA

State Population 12,805,537
State Surface Area (square miles) 45,333
Number of Major Surface Water Basins 6
Total Miles of Rivers and Streams 85,146*
Number of Significant, Publicly Owned Lakes 228
Acres of Significant, Publicly Owned Lakes 99,654
Square Miles of Delaware Estuary 17
Square Miles of Presque Isle Bay 6
Miles of Great Lakes Shore 63††
Acres of Freshwater Wetlands 376,473
Acres of Tidal Wetlands 56
2017 US Census estimate
†† Lake Erie - 14 miles comprise the Presque Isle Peninsula.
*DEP estimate based on 1:24,000 scale National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) stream coverage, which may change as the NHD is quality assured and corrected.

Protected Uses and Categories

As part of the obligation to protect Pennsylvania’s waters, DEP conducts protected use (e.g., Aquatic Life, Water Supply, Recreation and Fishing, etc.) assessments. For more information on Pennsylvania’s protected uses see 25 Pa. Code § 93.3.

Assessment determinations fall into three general statuses (i.e., attaining, impaired, or unassessed). For example, a body of water is considered “impaired” if it fails to meet one or more water quality standards. The categories to the right follow these general statuses but add more qualifiers. Click on each category to view its description. Category 5 and 5alt are the “list” of impaired waters (i.e., 303(d) list) that require development of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). In the process of developing this list, a full status of all waters is created to satisfy Sections 305(b) and 314 reporting requirements. It is the integration of these requirements that creates the structure and function of DEP’s Integrated Report. A fully interactive mapping application with advanced search and download features is also available with DEP’s Integrated Report Viewer.

DEP also produces a list of changes that were made from the previous (2016) Integrated Report. Click below to explore these changes.





DESCRIPTION: Waters where some, but not all uses are met. Attainment status of the remaining uses may be unknown because data are insufficient to categorize the water or it may be impaired.

Map of Category 2 Waters View and Print Category 2 Streams View and Print Category 2 Lakes

DESCRIPTION: Waters for which there are insufficient or no data to determine if any uses are met.

Map of Category 3 Waters View and Print Category 3 Streams View and Print Category 3 Lakes

DESCRIPTION: Waters impaired for one or more uses, not needing a TMDL, because a TMDL has been completed.

Map of Category 4a Waters View and Print Category 4a Streams View and Print Category 4a Lakes

DESCRIPTION: Waters impaired for one or more uses, not needing a TDML, because uses are expected to be attained within a reasonable timeframe.

Map of Category 4b Waters View and Print Category 4b Streams

DESCRIPTION: Waters impaired for one or more uses, not needing a TDML, because the impairment is not caused by a pollutant.

Map of Category 4c Waters View and Print Category 4c Streams View and Print Category 4c Lakes

DESCRIPTION: Waters impaired for one or more uses by a pollutant that require the development of a TMDL.

Map of Category 5 Waters View and Print Category 5 Streams View and Print Category 5 Lakes

DESCRIPTION: Waters impaired for one or more uses by a pollutant that are selected for alternative restoration implementation.

Map of Category 5alt Waters View and Print Category 5alt Streams View and Print Category 5alt Lakes

Section 303(d) of the CWA requires states to list impaired waters that require development of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), and describe the data used to make decisions

Sunrise on the Upper Delaware River

Listing Data

Just like Pennsylvania’s waters, the datasets used to create this report are extensive. Explore the chart to see what types of data DEP uses. Most data used to build this report originate from DEP’s data collection protocols and assessment methods. Combined with a comprehensive assessment plan, these protocols and methods allow DEP to make sound decisions regarding water quality. Click below to see DEP’s comprehensive monitoring and assessment plan.


DEP also readily accepts all outside datasets. By using a set of acceptance tiers, DEP ensures that all data are used according to their purpose and level of quality assurance. Click below to see DEP’s data acceptance policy and the data solicitation report.


303(d) - Category 5

Section 303(d) is the list of impaired waters that require development of a TMDL (Category 5). Once a TMDL is approved by EPA, these waters will be placed in Category 4a until water quality standards are achieved.

Starting in 2016, DEP created an Integrated Report Viewer that allows users to view the status of waters in all reporting categories. This viewer has significantly increased the usability and transparency of the Integrated Report, but users can still download the information for each category in tabular form in the "Uses and Categories" section of this report. Click on the map to explore all Category 5 waters.

303(d) - Category 5alt

The 5alt category – known as restoration alternatives – is a list of waters across Pennsylvania where implementation of restoration activities will begin immediately without development of a TMDL. DEP first incorporated the 5alt category in the 2016 Integrated Report. Waters are selected to be in the 5alt category because they have implementation plans and active public engagement. The goal of Category 5alt is to restore water quality before TMDLs are written, which brings possible advantages to the regulated community. Category 5alt still requires that a TMDL be completed unless water quality standards are achieved within a reasonable amount of time.

Click on the map to view Category 5alt waters. Category 5alt may also be downloaded as a table in the "Uses and Categories" section of this report.




Restoration Priorities

As part of Section 303(d), states are required to set prioritization ranking for impaired waterbodies. DEP conforms with this requirement by creating a list of watersheds that are identified as restoration priorities. For more information on how waters are selected as restoration priorities, DEP has created a restoration prioritization strategy.

Click on the map to view the current set of restoration priority watersheds. These priority watersheds, along with cause(s) of impairment, may also be viewed in table format below:


EPA Requested Information

As part of 303(d), EPA may request additional information to support decisions states make. For 2018, EPA has requested additional information on the following topic:

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER ASSESSMENTS

DEP remains committed to continuing work on the Susquehanna River, and has created a story map detailing water quality concerns and the extensive work being conducted on the river. More information can also be viewed on DEP’s Susquehanna River Updates page. This extensive work has led to Aquatic Life Use assessment determinations on major portions of the Susquehanna River and Juniata River in the 2018 Integrated Report. Detailed information can be found in the Susquehanna and Juniata Rivers Assessment Report, linked below. Use the map to explore the sections of the Susquehanna and Juniata rivers that have been assessed for the 2018 Integrated Report.


SUSQUEHANNA RIVER SMALLMOUTH BASS UPDATE

In cooperation with DEP, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) created a Susquehanna River Smallmouth Bass Update for this Integrated Report. Recent research has significantly advanced our understanding of possible causes of the Smallmouth Bass population decline and disease prevalence observed in parts of the Susquehanna River basin starting in 2005. Fortunately, in recent years PFBC has observed an increase in recruitment in the basin, largely attributable to lower disease prevalence of juvenile Smallmouth Bass, which has increased overall abundance of Smallmouth Bass and improved the age structure of the population. These events have led PFBC to implement regulatory changes and update resource management techniques for Smallmouth Bass in the Susquehanna and Juniata Rivers.




Section 305(b) of the CWA requires states to report the status of waters and describe the programs in place to control and improve water quality

Waterfall at Leonard Harrison State Park

STREAM ASSESSMENT STATUS

The number of stream miles assessed, and the attainment/impairment status of each stream, varies by protected use. All wadeable streams in Pennsylvania have been assessed at least once for Aquatic Life Use. DEP is currently conducting the second round of Aquatic Life Use assessments on wadeable streams. DEP continues to work towards the goal of 100% assessment of all waterbodies in the state for all protected uses. Click on the charts to see the leading sources and causes of use impairment for streams across Pennsylvania.

Macroinvertebrates currently serve as the primary data source for Aquatic Life Use assessments of streams in Pennsylvania. Thousands of macroinvertebrate samples have been collected from streams across the state over the past two decades. Click on the link below to learn more about DEP’s massive macroinvertebrate dataset and how it is used to measure water quality in Pennsylvania streams.









LAKE ASSESSMENT STATUS

As part of Section 305(b) reporting, Section 314 of the CWA requires states to report on the status of publicly owned lakes. After the CWA was established, EPA assessment, listing, and reporting guidance documents added the term “significant” to what types of lakes were to be assessed. DEP’s definition of a significant publicly owned lake is a waterbody with public access and a hydraulic residence time of 14 days or more. To meet this reporting goal, DEP employs several lake assessment methods and uses those methods to create assessment determinations for various uses. Explore the chart to see the current assessment status of uses on significant publicly owned lakes.

DEP, along with its partners, assesses other lakes that are not considered publicly owned or significant. Currently, 481 lakes totaling 318,051 acres have assessments for at least one of four uses. Please visit the Integrated Report Viewer to explore the assessment status of significant publicly owned lakes and these additional lakes.








LAKE TROPHIC STATUS

As part of the Section 305(b) reporting, Section 314 requires states to report the trophic status of significant publicly owned lakes. DEP bases overall lake trophic status on average seasonal values of phosphorus, Secchi depth, and chlorophyll-a. These values are used to calculate the Carlson’s Trophic State Index (TSI) for each parameter. TSI scores of 40 and below indicate oligotrophic (not productive) conditions, scores between 40 and 50 indicate mesotrophic (moderately productive) conditions, scores between 50 and 65 indicate eutrophic (productive) conditions, and scores greater than 65 indicate hypereutrophic (excessively productive) conditions.

Click on the map below to see trophic status of each significant publicly owned lake.

GROUNDWATER STATUS

Groundwater monitoring efforts in Pennsylvania are displayed in the Status of Statewide and Legacy Groundwater Quality Monitoring Programs. The Legacy Ambient and Fixed Station Network Groundwater Quality Monitoring Program began in 1985 to characterize general background and assess changes in groundwater quality within the 478 groundwater basins identified in the state. Because of resource constraints, monitoring efforts have been limited since the late 1990s and only ~12% of the state has been monitored. Under a joint funding agreement with DEP in 2005, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) compiled electronically available groundwater quality data to help point out data gaps and guide future monitoring efforts. Over 24,000 wells from 14 different agencies/programs were included in the project. For more information and to access the full report, please visit the USGS reports webpage.

A new project was initiated in 2014 to sample at select stations throughout the state on a regular basis. This effort is referred to as the “Expanded” (or “Statewide”) Fixed Station Groundwater Quality Monitoring Network to distinguish it from the original “Legacy” effort. From this information, DEP has begun to better understand the status of groundwater quality in Pennsylvania. Use the map to see the status of select water quality parameters in Pennsylvania’s groundwater from the new, expanded/statewide network.

DEP previously identified and prioritized sources of groundwater contamination based on regional office input for earlier versions of this report. The information was reviewed and updated in the Sources of Groundwater Contamination and Prioritization Document.

Map depicting groundwater parameter models.

Control Programs

DEP has a series of programs in place to control sources of water quality impacts. Click on each program to see an overview of how the program protects water quality, how much the program invests in protecting water, and to visit important links related to that program.

Program Overview DEP's Office of Active and Abandoned Mining Operations is responsible for the policies and implementation of programs that regulate or minimize the impact from the extraction of coal and other minerals. The office is organized into four Bureaus that have distinct roles and responsibilities for the safe extraction of mineral resources and the reclamation and protection of environmental resources. The Bureau of District Mining Operations is responsible for permitting and inspection of mining sites across Pennsylvania.

VIEW AND PRINT FULL PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Program Overview The Nonpoint Source (NPS) Compliance Section, located within the Bureau of Clean Water, is responsible for developing regulations, policies, guidance, outreach, and inspection strategies for compliance assessment, compliance assistance, and enforcement of regulatory programs relating to agriculture and stormwater runoff. This section conducts activities relating to the compliance with regulatory requirements for agriculture-related erosion and sediment control and manure and nutrient management; Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs); construction-related erosion and sediment control; post-construction stormwater management; and Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s).

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Program Overview DEP’s Bureau of Clean Water (BCW) is responsible for managing Pennsylvania’s Nutrient Trading Program. The Program is one part of the Chesapeake Bay restoration strategy being implemented in Pennsylvania to address water quality issues. The primary purpose of the Program is to provide a more cost-effective way for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permittees in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed to meet their effluent cap load for nutrients.

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Program Overview DEP's Office of Oil and Gas Management is responsible for the statewide oil and gas conservation and environmental programs to facilitate the safe exploration, development, and recovery of Pennsylvania's oil and gas reservoirs. The office develops policy and programs for the regulation of oil and gas development and production pursuant to the Oil and Gas Act, the Coal and Gas Resource Coordination Act, and the Oil and Gas Conservation Law; oversees the oil and gas permitting and inspection programs; develops statewide regulation and standards; conducts training programs for industry; and works with the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and the Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board. The office also regulates aboveground and underground storage tanks at oil and gas well sites.

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Program Overview DEP's Bureau of Safe Drinking Water is responsible for managing the federally delegated drinking water program and implements both the federal and state Safe Drinking Water Acts and associated regulations. To control impacts to water, the Safe Drinking Water Program: protects all Pennsylvania residents and visitors from microbiological, chemical and radiological contaminants in drinking water served at nearly 8,500 public water systems; conducts surveillance, compliance, enforcement and permitting activities at public water systems to ensure compliance with safe drinking water standards; protects Pennsylvania's drinking water sources through proper planning and management of water resources and their uses; responds to water supply emergencies, such as floods, droughts, chemical spills or waterborne disease outbreaks; and maintains a web-based reporting application to allow accredited laboratories and public water suppliers to report drinking water sample results electronically. The bureau also trains and certifies drinking water and wastewater treatment operators for over 10,000 plants.

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Program Overview DEP’s Clean Water Permitting Program manages and regulates the discharge of pollutants to surface waters and groundwater in Pennsylvania, with the objective of protecting water uses, including human health and aquatic life. The program is administered by DEP’s Bureau of Clean Water (BCW) and is implemented by DEP’s six regional offices. BCW establishes regulations, guidance and policy that are used by DEP regional offices to carry out program objectives.

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Program Overview DEP’s Bureau of Clean Water manages the Sewage Facilities Program, which implements the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (known as “Act 537”) and enforces 25 Pa. Code Chapters 71, 72, 73. Chapter 71 is titled “Administration of Sewage Facilities Planning Program”, Chapter 72 is titled “Administration of Sewage Facilities Permitting Program” and Chapter 73 is titled “Standards for Onlot Sewage Treatment Facilities”. The program addresses existing sewage disposal needs and helps prevent future problems through proper planning, permitting, design, operation, and maintenance of all types of sewage facilities. More information about the Sewage Facilities Program can be found here.

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Program Overview DEP’s Bureau of Radiation Protection is responsible for statewide radiation control and monitoring activities. The program is responsible for reducing unnecessary radiation exposure and includes the oversight of radioactive materials, radiation generating equipment, radon testing and mitigation, and environmental surveillance. The program provides emergency response services for nine nuclear power plants in Pennsylvania.

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Program Overview For regulatory and legal purposes, 25 Pa. Code Chapter 105 defines “wetlands” as the following:

“Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions including swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas.”

The approval of a permit, environmental assessment, or plan under Chapter 105 is required prior to conducting any work related to water obstructions or encroachment activities. DEP also provides water quality certification as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act for activities that include, but are not limited to, Federal Nationwide Permits (NWP) and other regulated activities under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the River and Harbors Act of 1899.

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Program Overview DEP’s Water Quality Division, located in the Bureau of Clean Water, develops, reviews and maintains Pennsylvania’s water quality standards (WQS), including water uses, numeric and narrative criteria to protect those uses, and antidegradation policies. This division is also responsible for the preparation of this Integrated Report, which includes the development of appropriate monitoring and assessment methodologies to guide impairment listings on the Report.

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Program Overview DEP’s Bureau of Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields is responsible for policies and implementation of the Storage Tank Program. The program provides for the health and safety of the citizens of Pennsylvania by protecting Pennsylvania’s air, land, and water from storage tank releases. The program staff work as partners with individuals, organizations, governments and businesses to prevent releases from storage tanks and restore our natural resources when releases do occur. Under the Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act, which became effective on Aug. 5, 1989, the Storage Tank Program is responsible for developing and implementing regulations for aboveground and underground storage tanks. Specific program responsibilities include the following: registration and permitting of regulated aboveground and underground storage tank systems and collection of annual tank registration fees; certification of individuals and companies that perform tank inspection and tank handling (installation, modification, removal) activities; and establishment of technical and operational standards for aboveground and underground storage tank systems and development of procedures for reporting of releases and corrective action by tank owners.

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Program Overview The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) conducts several conservation and partnership programs including, River Conservation Grants, managing the Invasive Species Program, and creating Aquatic Resource Management Plans.

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Program Overview The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) controls and funds several aspects of water quality relating human health. Specifically, DOH regulates and monitors inland beaches in accordance with the Federal Beach Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act, which helps ensure public safety.

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RESTORATION PROGRAMS

DEP also has a series of programs in place to restore water quality. Primary funding sources come from the grant issued under Section 319 of the CWA ($1,000,000 annually) and Pennsylvania's Growing Greener funds ($3,000,000 annually). Click on each program to see an overview of how the program restores water quality and to visit that program’s website.

Program Overview Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) requires states to establish a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for all pollutants identified as preventing attainment of water quality standards. TMDLs set the maximum amount of a pollutant, the pollutant load, that can be delivered to a waterbody without violating water quality standards. The TMDL also allocates the allowable pollutant load among the various sources in the watershed (e.g. point and nonpoint sources such as agriculture, wastewater treatment plants, mine drainage). Waters that are not attaining water quality standards are often referred to as “impaired” waters.

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Program Overview Beginning with the 2016 Integrated Report, the EPA and states launched a new vision for meeting the goals of CWA Section 303(d). The new vision includes 6 goals: Engagement, Integration, Protection, Prioritization, Alternatives, and Assessment. To implement the vision, EPA has provided a new adaptive management tool to achieve water quality standards. An alternative restoration approach is a near-term plan of actions with a clear schedule for achieving a set of milestones. In certain impairment situations, restoration alternatives can be more immediately beneficial than a TMDL, because restoration implementation can begin immediately. An important aspect of having watersheds selected as restoration alternatives is that these watersheds are in areas where state and local governments and watershed groups are actively engaged in activities to restore waters.

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Program Overview Growing Greener is part of DEP’s Grant and Loan Program, which provides grants, loans, and rebates to assists individuals, groups, and businesses in addressing a host of environmental issues. Growing Greener remains the largest single investment of state funds in Pennsylvania's history to address Pennsylvania's critical environmental concerns of the 21st century. Growing Greener encourages partnerships between counties, municipalities, county conservation districts, watershed organizations and other groups to restore and protect the environment.

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Program Overview The Nonpoint Source Management Program (NPS) is part of DEP’s Office of Water Resources Planning and provides grants to assist watershed associations, county conservation districts, and other non-profit organizations in addressing a host of environmental issues. This grant program manages funds awarded to DEP by EPA through the Clean Water Act Section 319(h) grant program. Funds awarded to DEP are used to fund programmatic efforts and as sub-grants to local partners for the implementation of water quality improvement projects specified in EPA-approved Watershed Implementation Plan (WIPs). The NPS Management Program provides technical support to local groups interested in preparing WIPs, with priority given to groups working actively in watersheds with significant nonpoint source water quality impairments and one or more TMDL’s, where watershed assessments and/or restoration plans have been completed. Projects funded include abandoned mine drainage treatment, minimization of agricultural and urban stormwater run-off, and natural channel design/streambank restoration projects.

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Program Overview DEP’s Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Program is part of the Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation (BAMR). BAMR has awarded reclamation contracts using Growing Greener, State Capital Budget, and AML Program funds. Title IV of the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) established the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Trust Fund to be used for the reclamation and restoration of areas affected by past mining. The federal Office of Surface Mining collects the fees from coal production across the country and then grants the monies back to states and tribes with approved Abandoned Mine Reclamation Programs, like Pennsylvania.

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Program Overview DEP’s Chesapeake Bay Program Office is tasked with coordination of activities to implement the Chesapeake Bay TMDL to restore water quality. Working with several partners and stakeholders, the program office has developed a Bay restoration strategy comprised of several short, mid and long-term recommendations, aimed at augmenting the approach to water quality improvements in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This strategy is a collaborative effort between DEP, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, along with other stakeholders in the design, development and implementation of restoration strategies.

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Program Overview The DEP Office of the Great Lakes is responsible for the coordination and implementation of the Commonwealth's Great Lakes Program of water quality and watershed-related initiatives, including commitments under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact and Agreement. This multi-disciplinary, multi-jurisdictional program interacts with Great Lakes states, Canadian provinces, U.S and Canadian federal agencies, and federal/state governments to achieve protection of the largest surface freshwater system on Earth. The Office of the Great Lakes conducts extensive water quality monitoring of Lake Erie and its tributaries, and coordinates with other state, county, and local government entities, as well as non-governmental organizations, to develop policies and programs that reduce pollutants and support public health.

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Dep measures progress by analyzing data and documenting restored waters

Allegheny River at Franklin, PA

TRENDS

DEP has sentinel monitoring stations throughout Pennsylvania that are specifically designed to record trend data. This monitoring program is called the Water Quality Network (WQN). More information on these stations can be found on DEP’s WQN mapping application. From the data collected at these stations, trend reports are developed like the one the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) creates for the Chesapeake Bay. A statewide trend report for the 2018 dataset can be viewed below:


As technology and data analyses advance, more resources are being developed to view DEP’s trend data. For example, USGS has created a national dataset of trends that can be viewed and downloaded. This allows DEP to show data in new and meaningful ways for this Integrated Report. In the map, water quality parameters are displayed as yields (pounds per acre) through time. Displaying data as pounds per acre allows sites to be compared to each other, regardless of waterbody size. This dataset is also available in tabular format.

Map depicting groundwater parameter models.

Restoration Efforts

DEP manages and tracks aquatic resource restoration efforts throughout Pennsylvania. Two major aquatic resource restoration efforts include stream restoration projects and wetland replacements. The maps reflect the current data DEP has access to through permit tracking systems. These and other datasets are reported through DEP’s GIS Open Data Portal.

DEP also partners with outside organizations to restore water quality in lakes. Click below to see the current lake restoration efforts.


RESTORED WATERS

DEP documents the restoration of waters through a delisting process that is approved by EPA. DEP delistings can consist of removal of one or more causes of impairment, full restoration of water quality standards, or even corrections in previous assessment determinations/delineations. Click below to see DEP’s impairment delistings for the 2018 Integrated Report.


Overall, restoring waters to the point they can be removed from the impaired categories (4a, 4b, 4c, 5, and 5alt) requires a tremendous amount of resources, dedication, and strong partnerships. Some of DEP’s greatest successes have come from treating abandoned mine drainage, which makes up the majority of restored waters to date. Click on the map to see all waters that have been restored to water quality standards.


STAY INFORMED AND PARTICIPATE

eComment
Public participation for this Integrated Report will be from April 20th, 2019 to June 4th, 2019. DEP encourages the public to provide comments during this period. To submit comments, and see comments from other individuals, please visit the eComment tooleComment. The links to view and comment on the Integrated Report will be made available in the “Open Comment Periods” section at the top of the eComment website during the public comment period. Written comments can also be mailed to Department of Environmental Protection, Policy Office, Rachel Carson State Office Building, P.O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105. DEP suggests that comments be organized using the main headings above (e.g., Introduction, Section 303(d), Section 305(b), etc.), or by using the subheadings to the left of the screen and titled in BLUE on each slide (e.g., Home, Mission, Purpose, etc.). Simply hover over the gray circles to the left of the screen to see all subheadings and navigate to them at any point. Persons in need of accommodations as provided for in the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 should contact DEP’s Water Quality Division at 717-787-9637 or through the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at 800-654-5984 (TTD) to discuss how DEP may accommodate their needs.

eNotice
DEP developed an electronic notification system for the public to use to stay up-to-date with many types of environmental topics. This tool is called eNOTICE and you may register to receive free notifications of important actions DEP takes. It’s easy. Go here eNoticeto register to receive notices that are important to you!

DEP Newsletter
DEP publishes a biweekly newsletter that features information about hot topics, recent actions, regulatory updates, webinars and upcoming events. To subscribe to this free newsletter, click hereDEP Newsletters.

Contact Us
For questions or assistance please contact the Water Quality Division at 717-787-9637 or send an email to RA-WQAssessments@pa.gov.

COMMENT AND RESPONSE

After the public comment period, DEP compiles and responds to the comments provided. The comment/response document is closed during the public participation period (April 20th, 2019 to June 4th, 2019). It will be available shortly after the comment period. Click the link below to view the comment/response document.

Additional Resources

Please visit other DEP websites to learn more about how DEP protects water quality and how the public can get involved.




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