Final TMDLs Approved by EPA: Millington Wildlife Management Ponds, Upper Chester River

The Millington WMA Ponds are located in rural, northeastern Kent County on Maryland's Eastern Shore within the MD 8-digit Upper Chester River watershed. Millington WMA covers 3,800 acres in Kent County, Maryland and adjacent New Castle County, DE. The total population in the MD 8-digit Upper Chester River watershed is approximately 11,800. Millington WMA fulfills several important roles, such as protecting several endangered species of animals and providing hunting and outdoor recreation opportunities. The impoundments are owned by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). There are four individual and distinct farm ponds within the WMA. As mentioned in Section 1.0, however, three of the ponds (old borrow pits) are intermittent, occasionally drying up completely, and two of the ponds are too small to appear on certain maps. Furthermore, it has been determined by MDE field staff to be unlikely that trophic-level four fish can develop to edible size in one of the intermittent ponds, since an attempt to obtain fish samples from the pond via electrofishing produced insufficient fish for a composite sample. It cannot be determined if the other intermittent ponds support largemouth bass populations. The intermittent ponds therefore could not be applied within this analysis, and the TMDL was calculated using solely Pond Two (impounded via the damming of an unnamed tributary to Cypress Branch) data. Since all four ponds are located within an extremely small area and share very similar physical and environmental characteristics, however, the TMDL established herein will apply to all four ponds. A small portion of Pond Two’s watershed is in Delaware.

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has identified the waters of the MD 8-digit Upper Chester River watershed on the State’s 2008 Integrated Report as impaired by sediments (tidal portion: Chester River Tidal Fresh Chesapeake Bay Segment - 1996), nutrients – nitrogen and phosphorus (tidal portion: Chester River Tidal Fresh Chesapeake Bay Segment - 1996), bacteria (tidal beach: Duck Neck Beach - 1996), methylmercury (MeHg) in fish tissue (impoundments: Millington WMA Ponds - 2002), and impacts to biological communities (nontidal portion - 2006). The designated use of the tidal portion of the MD 8-digit Upper Chester River and its tributaries is Use II (Support of Estuarine and Marine Aquatic Life and Shellfish Harvesting), and the designated use of the nontidal portion of the MD 8-digit Upper Chester River and its tributaries, including the Millington WMA Ponds and their tributaries, is Use I (Water Contact Recreation and Protection of Aquatic Life).

A TMDL of nitrogen and phosphorus was approved by the EPA in 2006 to address the nutrients listings (nitrogen and phosphorus) for the tidal portion of the MD 8-digit Upper Chester River (Chester River Tidal Fresh Chesapeake Bay Segment), and a TMDL of Enterococci was submitted to the EPA in 2009 to address the bacteria listing for Duck Neck Beach. In the future, the listing for impacts to biological communities for the nontidal portion of the watershed will include the results of a stressor identification analysis within the Integrated Report, and the sediment listing for the tidal portion of the watershed (Chester River Tidal Fresh Chesapeake Bay Segment) will be addressed via the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, completed in 2010.

Total Maximum Daily Load of Mercury for Watersheds draining to Millington Wildlife Management Area Ponds Kent County, Maryland

(Approved on March 18, 2011)

EPA's Decision Letter EPA's Decision Letter (121KB)
MDE's Edits to EPA's Decision Letter MDE's Decision Letter Edits (31KB)
Main Report

TMDL_Millington_WMA_Hg.pdf (892KB)

Comment Response Document

CRD_Millington_WMA_Hg.pdf (7KB)


Contact Information

Please direct questions or comments concerning this project to Maryland's TMDL Program at (410) 537-3818.