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Public Notice

Solicitation of All Available Data for the 2006 New York State 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. States are scheduled to submit their next Section 303(d) Lists to USEPA by April 1, 2006.

To support the development of the Section 303(d) Lists, States are required to assemble and evaluate existing and readily available water quality related data and information. The purpose of this notice is to announce the schedule for updating the NYS Section 303(d) List and solicit data and information that may be useful in compiling the list.

The water quality assessment of New York State’s waters is a continuous process. Every year waters in 2 or 3 of the 17 drainage basin in the state are scheduled to be re-assessed. This rotating basin approach allows for a re-assessment of water quality of the entire state every 5 years. The assessment of these waters is a public process which includes both the participation of a wide range of state, federal and local agencies and non- government water quality partners (watershed groups, lake associations, academic researchers, etc.) and the solicitation of data and information from these groups. NYSDEC is able to effectively manage the reassessment process by focusing the effort on specific drainage basins over a five-year period. Concentrating on a few basins each year allows NYSDEC to provide ample opportunity for the extensive list of interested groups to provide input and allows for a thorough evaluation of all available data. In order to maintain an effective and comprehensive review of solicited data and information, it is necessary to establish a cut-off date for the receipt of water quality data and information.

In order to be included for consideration in the compiling of the 2006 Section 303(d) List, data and information must be received by September 30, 2005. It is not the intent of the September 30 cut-off date to exclude additional information. Rather it is 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 final list to USEPA.

Additionally, while data may be submitted for any water in New York State prior to the September 30 cut-off date, the focus of the current assessment effort is in the following drainage basins: Allegheny River Basin, Black River Basin, Chemung River Basin, Lake Ontario (Minor Tribs) Drainage Basin, Lower Hudson River Basin, Oswego River (Finger Lakes) Drainage Basin, and Upper Hudson River Basin. Again the purpose of this drainage basin focus is not to exclude or otherwise limit solicitation of data, but to provide the same level of scrutiny and public review of all water quality information received and allow all who wish to participate equal involvement in the process.

In order to facilitate the review and inclusion of water quality data and information to be considered in the compiling of the 2006 Section 303(d) List, such submissions should be accompanied by a completed Waterbody Inventory/Priority Waterbodies List Assessment Worksheet. This worksheet allows the capture of water quality information based on general observation of conditions and/or local knowledge of designated use support/non-support of a waterbody absent specific (numeric) monitoring data. The worksheet and instructions for completing it can be obtained by contacting the NYSDEC Bureau of Watershed Assessment and Management by mail at 625 Broadway, 4th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-3502, or by phone at 518-402-8179, or via email at dmwicker@gw.dec.state.ny.us. The worksheet /instructions are also anticipated to be available on the NYSDEC website at: www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dow/bwam/wqap.html.

The submission of water quality monitoring data should also include a copy of the corresponding Quality Assurance/Quality Control Plan, QA/QC results summary and description of measures used in the collection of the data.

Additional information regarding the NYSDEC Water Quality Assessment Program and the Waterbody Inventory/Priority Waterbodies List is included in the New York State Section 305(b) Water Quality Report. www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dow/bwam/305b.html.