The Bohemia River watershed is located within Cecil County with the eastern most portion of the watershed extending through Delaware. It drains to the Lower Elk River, which eventually drains to the Upper Chesapeake Bay. Additionally, Bohemia River embayment also exchanges water and the associated PCBs with the Delaware River Estuary via the Chesapeake and Delaware (C&D) Canal which is hydrologically connected with the Elk River. The tidal influence extends as far east as Bohemia Mills. The tidal range is 1.6 feet (0.49 meters (m)) based on the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tidal station in Betterton, MD. The depths of the river range from about 6 inches (0.15 m) at the headwaters of the tidal embayment to greater than 7 feet (2.1 m) at the confluence of the Lower Elk River and Bohemia River.
The Maryland water quality regulations state that all surface waters of Maryland shall be protected for water contact recreation, fishing, and protection of aquatic life and wildlife. The specific designated use for Bohemia River Oligohaline segment (also referred to as the Bohemia River embayment) is Use II – Support of Estuarine and Marine Aquatic Life and Shellfish Harvesting. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has identified the waters of the Bohemia River Oligohaline segment (Integrated Report Assessment Unit Identification: MD-BOHOH) on the State’s Integrated Report as impaired by the following pollutants (listing years in parentheses): sediments (1996 – later changed to a total suspended solids (TSS) listing), nutrients (1996), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in fish tissue (2002).
A nutrient TMDL has been approved by the US EPA in January 2001. In 2008 the TSS impairment was moved from Category 5 of the Integrated Report (i.e., water body is impaired, does not attain the water quality standard, and a TMDL is required) to Category 2 (water body is meeting some [in this case TSS] water quality standards but with insufficient data to determine if other water quality standards are being met). The document, available below, establishes a total PCB (tPCB) TMDL for the Bohemia River Oligohaline segment. Data solicitation for PCB related information was conducted by MDE and all readily available data have been considered.
Total Maximum Daily Loads of Polychlorinated Biphenyls in the Bohemia River, Oligohaline Segment, Cecil County, Maryland
(Approved on March 18, 2011)
Comment Response Document
Please direct questions or comments concerning this project to Maryland's TMDL Program at (410) 537-3818.
1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230