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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 16-234


Final Assessment and Listing Methodology

[46 Pa.B. 822]
[Saturday, February 13, 2016]

 The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) is providing its final Assessment and Listing Methodology (methodology) following the public comment period of October 3, 2015, through November 17, 2015. 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 methodologies referred to in this public notice will be used to assess the quality of this Commonwealth's waters under this legal mandate. The proposed Nutrient Impact Assessment Protocol for Wadeable Streams (NIAP) is not available because it is not being finalized at this time. During the public comment period for the methodology, the Department only received comments pertaining to the NIAP. For this reason, the Department is currently reviewing and assessing these public comments and will provide further notice of any finalization of the NIAP document.

 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 may appear in the 2016 Pennsylvania Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report (Integrated Report) and subsequent Integrated Reports.

 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 methodology is available on the Department's web site at (select ''Citizens,'' then ''My Water,'' then ''Rivers, Lakes & Streams,'' then ''2015 Assessment Methodology''). Because of the large number of pages, the methodology will not be available in hard copy.

 The 2015 Assessment Methods includes the following documents: Instream Comprehensive Evaluations (ICE), Limestone Streams, Multi-Habitat Pool/Glide Streams, Riffle/Run Freestone Streams, Continuous Instream Monitoring, Periphyton, Streambed Sediment, Surface Water Collection, Semi-Quantitative Fish Sampling protocol, Cause and Effect Surveys, Lake Assessment Protocol, Aquatic Macrophyte Cover, Lake Fisheries, Evaluations of Phosphorus Discharges to Lakes, Ponds, and Impoundments, Plankton Sampling, Chlorophyll A Sampling, Chemistry—Bacteriological Evaluations, Bacteriological Sampling Protocol, Fish Tissue Sampling, Natural Pollutant Sources, Outside agency Data, Appendix A—Sources and Cause Definitions, Appendix B—Taxa Tolerances, Appendix C—Biological Field Methods, Appendix C1—Habitat, Appendix C2—Benthic Macroinvertebrates, Appendix C3—Fish and Appendix C4—Taxonomic Reference.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 16-234. Filed for public inspection February 12, 2016, 9:00 a.m.]

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