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ENB - Statewide Notices 8/19/2015

Public Notice

Data Solicitation for 2016 CWA Section 303(d) List

Section 303(d) of the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) requires States to compile periodically (every two years) a list of impaired waters that do not meet water quality standards and where designated uses are not fully supported and where a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) plan is necessary to address the impairment. States are scheduled to submit their next Section 303(d) Lists to USEPA by April 1, 2016. To support the development of the Section 303(d) Lists, States are also required to assemble and evaluate existing and readily available water quality related data and information. New York State is currently soliciting and accepting water quality data and information that may be useful in compiling the 2016 Section 303(d) List.

Background: The water quality assessment of New York State's waters is a continuous process. Participation and input from a wide range of state, federal and local agencies and non-governmental water quality partners (watershed groups, lake associations, academic researchers, etc.) is encouraged. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) is able to effectively manage the statewide assessment process by focusing the effort on a limited number of specific drainage basins each year. Concentrating on a few basins each year allows NYS DEC to provide ample opportunity for the extensive list of interested groups to provide input and allows for a thorough evaluation of all available data.

Every two years, corresponding to the development of the State's Section 303(d) List, the public is solicited to provide water quality data and information for any waterbody (any basin). This allows for a more comprehensive updating of the List. Some of the solicited data and information may result in changes to the List; other data, it may be determined, will have no impact on the pending List, but will be incorporated into subsequent water quality assessments. Some of the data and information received during the solicitation may not be sufficiently conclusive to make a definitive impairment determination and use of this data and information may also be deferred until the more complete assessment of the corresponding basin is conducted.

In order to be included for consideration in the compiling of the 2016 CWA Section 303(d) List, data and information must be received by September 30, 2015. It is not the intent of this cut off date to exclude additional information. Rather the date is necessary in order to provide adequate time to review data and information, complete water quality assessments, receive and respond to public comment on the assessments, compile a draft Section 303(d) List, public notice the List, and submit a List to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) by April 1, 2016.

Data submissions should be accompanied by a completed Waterbody Inventory/Priority Waterbodies List (WI/PWL) Assessment Worksheet (PDF) (214.64 KB) which may also be found at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/36730.html. This worksheet allows for the capture of water quality information based on available data, or based on general observation of conditions and/or local knowledge of designated use support/non support of a waterbody absent specific (numeric) monitoring data. Worksheet information can also be obtained by contacting Sarah Rickard at the NYS DEC - Division of Water, Bureau of Watershed Assessment and Management by mail at 625 Broadway, 4th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-3502, or by phone at (518) 402-8179. Completed WI/PWL worksheets, supporting water quality monitoring data, a copy of the corresponding Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC), QA/QC results summary and a description of measures used in the collection of data should sent to the address above, or forwarded via e-mail to: 4pwlinfo@dec.ny.gov.

Guidance regarding the use of water quality data and information to conduct assessment and make listing decisions is outlined in the New York State Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology. These methodologies are available for review and NYS DEC will accept public comment on these documents throughout the 2016 Section 303(d) List development process. Additional information regarding Section 303(d) List development, including the Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology can be found on the NYS DEC website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/31290.html.

For questions regarding the information in this notice please contact: Sarah Rickard, NYS DEC - Division of Water, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233, Phone: (518) 402-8179, E-mail: 4pwlinfo@dec.ny.gov.


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