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United States EPA Approves Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's 2012 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring And Assessment Report

On May 9, 2013, the U.S. EPA approved the PADEP’s 2012 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report, a biennial “monitoring and assessment report characterizing the condition of Pennsylvania’s surface waters.”  Included in this report is a list of Pennsylvania’s “impaired” surface waters that are not able to attain water quality standards, generally referred to as the 303(d) List.  According to the U.S. EPA, PADEP’s 303(d) List includes 7,009 impaired waters, with 263 waters newly listed in the 2012 Report.  The 2012 Report also “includes a change in the designation for a nearly 100-mile section of the main stem of the Susquehanna River from ‘unimpaired’ for aquatic life and recreational uses, to having insufficient water quality data to make an impairment determination.”  Accordingly, PADEP is currently working with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, and the U.S. Geological Survey to complete a Susquehanna River Study this year to assess the quality of waters in the Susquehanna River and its tributaries.