PA EQB Proposes New Stream Designations

October 2010Newsletters In the Zone

The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board recently approved proposed regulations that seek to reclassify the water quality of a number of streams in Pennsylvania. The proposal was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on September 18, 2010.

This proposal modifies Chapter 93 to reflect the redesignation of the listed streams. The changes include streams being considered for redesignation as High Quality (HQ) or Exceptional Value (EV) waters. The changes provide the appropriate designated use for these streams to protect existing uses. Upon implementation, the changes will result in more stringent treatment requirements for new and/or expanded wastewater discharges to the streams.

The stream redesignations impacted include, in part:

- Buck Hill Creek (Monroe County) from HQ-CWF to EV
- Upper Lehigh River (Lackawanna, Monroe, Wayne, Luzerne Counties) from HQ-CWF to EV
- French Creek (Chester County) from HG-TSF (parts) to EV
- Fishing Creek (Lancaster County) from HQ-CWF to EV
- Little Falls (York County) from WWF to CWF

The new regulations will likely result in higher treatment costs for discharges to the respective streams and/or basins. The increased costs may take the form of higher engineering, construction or operating costs for wastewater treatment facilities.

The proposed new designations are currently before the Independent Regulatory Review Commission for consideration. The public comment period is open until November 2, 2010. If finalized, the new designations could take effect in early 2011.

For more information, please contact Robert W. Gundlach, Jr. at 215.918.3636 or [email protected].