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EPA establishes clean-up plans for the Christina River

Release Date: 4/14/2005
Contact Information: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567

Contact: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567
PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established plans to improve water quality on impaired water bodies in the Christina River Basin.

The plans, which were developed by EPA in coordination with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, establish 30 “pollution budgets,” known as Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), that set the maximum amount of specific pollutants that can be introduced into the river and its tributaries.

“Through a teamwork approach with our environmental counterparts in Pennsylvania and Delaware, we have produced plans that we believe will dramatically improve the environmental health of the Christina River and its tributaries,” said Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.

The Christina River Basin covers about 564 square miles in portions of Chester County, Pa., New Castle County, Del. and Cecil County, Md. and drains to the Delaware River at Wilmington. The water bodies impacted by these TMDLs include portions the Red Clay and White Clay Creeks and Christina and Brandywine Rivers in Pennsylvania and and Delaware.

When a water body does not meet its water quality standards for a particular pollutant, the federal Clean Water Act requires the state to include the water body on its list of impaired waters. Pennsylvania and Delaware have listed areas of the Christina River and its tributaries as impaired by bacteria. Pennsylvania has also listed areas as impaired by sediment.

Once the water body is impaired, the state must develop a TMDL to set the maximum amount of a specific pollutants that an estuary, lake or river can receive. After that load amount is calculated, specified sources of that pollutant in the watershed are required to reduce their contributions of the contaminant to specified levels.

The final TMDLs can be reviewed on the EPA Region 3 website at .