Perkiomen Creek Water Quality to be Assessed

April 2012Articles In the Zone

On March 10, 2012, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) provided notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin that it will be undertaking an evaluation of the Perkiomen Creek Basin, which flows throw Montgomery, Berks, Bucks and Lehigh counties.

Under 25 Pa. Code ยง 93.4d (relating to processing of petitions, evaluations and assessments to change a designated use), PA DEP will be conducting evaluations of the stream to determine the proper aquatic life use and/or special protection designations per the Commonwealth's water quality standards. The study area will include the entire Perkiomen Creek Basin.

The Perkiomen Creek Basin is currently designated High Quality Trout Stocking from its source to state route (SR) 1010 and Trout Stocking (TSF) from SR-1010 to the Green Lane Reservoir Dam. The West Branch Perkiomen Creek Basin is currently designated Cold Water Fishes (CWF) from its source to SR-1022, Exceptional Value from SR-1022 to SR-2069, and CWF from SR-2069 to the mouth. The Hosensack Creek and Macoby Creek Basins are currently designated CWF and TSF, respectively.

Technical data concerning the water quality, in-stream habitat or biological condition of the stream can be submitted to the PA DEP for consideration in the assessment. These assessments may lead to recommendations to the Environmental Quality Board for redesignation.

An upgrade in water quality designation can produce significant changes to the steps necessary to obtain state and local land development permits. For example, an upgrade may necessitate a more highly scrutinized individual National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit versus a general permit. Additionally, waterways in special protection waters benefit from mandatory riparian buffers under Chapter 102 regulations.