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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 13-1807


Draft Assessment and Listing Methodology; Availability for Public Comment

[43 Pa.B. 5769]
[Saturday, September 28, 2013]

 The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) is making available for public comment its draft Assessment and Listing Methodology (methodology). Sections 303(d) and 305(b) of the Federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C.A. §§ 1313(d) and 1315(b)) require states to report on the condition of all their waters in the biennial Integrated Report (report). The report combines the comprehensive Section 305(b) report status of water quality in this Commonwealth and the Section 303(d) list of waters for which Total Maximum Daily Loads are required.

 Stream and lake evaluations presented in the report must be supported by assessment methodologies based on sound science and technical procedures that are clear and complete. The methodology is a compilation of the protocols being used to assess waters that will appear in the 2014 Pennsylvania Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report.

 The protocols comprising the methodology describe the field data collection procedures and data analysis methods used to obtain and evaluate water quality data. The individual protocols apply to a wide range of water resource types, data sources and environmental indicators.

 The draft methodology is available on the Department's web site at Select ''Water'' in the left side menu, then ''Bureau of Point and Non-Point Source Management'' in the left side menu, then ''Water Quality Standards'' on the right side menu and ''2013 Assessment Methodology.'' The previous 2009 Assessment Methodology is also available for comparison. Because of the large number of pages, the methodology will not be available in hardcopy.

 The Department will accept comments on the following new assessment documents as part of the 2013 Assessment Methodology: Streambed Sediment Collection Protocol, Continuous Instream Monitoring Field Methods, Wadeable Semi-quantitative Fish Sampling Protocol for Streams, Periphyton Standing Crop and Species Assemblages, Habitat Assessment, Benthic Macroinvertebrates, Fish Community Sampling Methods, Surface Water Collection and Taxonomy Reference List. The Department will also accept comments on the following amended assessment methods from the 2009 Assessment Methodology: An Index of Biotic Integrity for Benthic Macro-invertebrate Communities in Pennsylvania's Wadeable, Freestone, Riffle/Run Streams; Water Use Assessment Decision-Making Based on Physicochemical and Bacteriological Sampling; and Impairment Cause Definitions and Impairment Source Definitions.

 Persons wishing to comment on the draft methodology may do so in writing to the Division of Water Standards or by e-mail no later than November 20, 2013. Comments should be mailed or e-mailed to Molly Pulket, Division of Water Quality Standards, P. O. Box 8774, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8774, (717) 787-9637, Comments received by facsimile will not be accepted.

 The Department will consider all public comments regarding the appropriateness of the narrative, collection methods and data analyses protocols contained in the methodology.

 Persons in need of accommodations as provided for in the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 should contact Molly Pulket at (717) 787-9637 or through the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at (800) 654-5894 (TTD) to discuss how the Department may accommodate their needs.

Acting Secretary

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 13-1807. Filed for public inspection September 27, 2013, 9:00 a.m.]

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