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Impaired Waters and TMDLs

Revised Sediment TMDL for the Indian Creek Watershed in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

Purpose

The EPA is publishing for public review and comment a draft total maximum daily load (TMDL) for sediment in the Indian Creek Watershed in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania pursuant to Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act.  The public can access the draft TMDL report below. 

Comments must be received by EPA on or before June 24, 2021 via electronic mail to Ms. Jillian Adair at adair.jillian@epa.gov or by mail to Ms. Jillian Adair, Water Division (3WD42), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 3, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029.  Electronic mail submissions including body text and attachments are limited to 25 megabytes.  In addition, EPA cannot receive electronic mail attachments in ZIP format (.zip). 

To assist the public in their understanding of the draft TMDL and provide an overview of the TMDL process, EPA invites the public to attend a virtual public meeting on June 8, 2021 from 1 – 2:30 p.m.  Please use the weblink or conference line phone number below to attend. ________________________________________________________________________________

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Background

Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires that each state identify those waters (called “water quality-limited segments”) for which existing technology-based pollution controls are not stringent enough to attain or maintain state water quality standards and for which total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) must be developed.  A TMDL establishes a target for the total load of a particular pollutant that a waterbody can assimilate without exceeding water quality standards and divides that load into wasteload allocations, given to point sources, load allocations, given to nonpoint sources and natural background, and a margin of safety, which takes into account any uncertainty.  TMDLs provide a framework to achieve water quality standards in a watershed and inform other federal and state programs of the necessary pollutant reductions needed by sources to achieve those standards. 

On June 30, 2008, EPA established a sediment TMDL for the Indian Creek Watershed.  On October 17, 2011 a complaint was filed against EPA regarding the TMDL [Civil Action No. 2:11-cv-06489-CDJ (E.D.PA)].  EPA then agreed to reconsider the TMDL and investigate several concerns raised by the plaintiffs.  On March 21, 2014, EPA issued a reconsideration document, which identified certain concerns that the reference watershed approach and sediment loading rates used should be revisited.  The court granted EPA’s request for a voluntary remand of the 2008 sediment TMDL on April 3, 2014. 

EPA subsequently solicited input to seek relevant data and feedback, including four stakeholder meetings from 2014 to 2018.  In December 2014 and February 2016, EPA held two informational webinars during the pre-TMDL development phase to inform stakeholders of ongoing progress and to solicit relevant data and information.  In August 2017, EPA held an in-person stakeholder meeting to discuss the existing sediment loads in Indian Creek Watershed and introduce possible allocation strategies.  In March 2018, EPA held an additional stakeholder webinar to discuss the sediment allocation scenarios.  Materials pertaining to those stakeholder meetings, including data used in the water quality model and analysis, can be found by clicking the links below.

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