WQA With EPA Concurrence of MDE's Findings: Bodkin Creek

The Bodkin Creek portion of the Patapsco River Mesohaline (PATMH) Tidal Chesapeake Bay Segment (Bodkin Creek embayment) is located near the confluence of the Patapsco River and the mainstem Chesapeake Bay in Anne Arundel County. The embayment and its watershed are bounded by the Baltimore Harbor and its watershed to the north and west and the mainstem of the Chesapeake Bay to the east. The embayment consists of three small creeks: Back Creek, Main Creek, and Wharf Creek. The Bodkin Creek embayment is approximately 24 miles (mi) (39 kilometers (km)) long, from its tidal headwaters to its confluence with the Chesapeake Bay. The Bodkin Creek embayment and its watershed cover 6,579 acres.

Maryland’s Surface Water Use Designations in the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) state that all surface waters of Maryland shall be protected for water contact recreation, fishing, and the protection of aquatic life and wildlife. In addition, the specific designated use of the Bodkin Creek portion of the PATMH Tidal Chesapeake Bay Segment is Use II (Support of Estuarine and Marine Aquatic Life and Shellfish Harvesting). The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has identified the PATMH Tidal Chesapeake Bay Segment (Integrated Report Assessment Unit ID: PATMH) on the State’s Integrated Report as impaired by nutrients – nitrogen and phosphorus (1996), sediments – total suspended solids (1996), and impacts to biological communities (2004). The Bodkin Creek portion of the PATMH Tidal Chesapeake Bay Segment is individually identified on the Integrated Report as impaired by nutrients – nitrogen and phosphorus (1996), Copper (Cu) (1996), lead (Pb) (1996), and zinc (Zn) (1996). The Integrated Report specifies that the Cu impairment in the Bodkin Creek portion of the PATMH Tidal Chesapeake Bay Segment does not support the protection of aquatic life designated use of the waterbody. 

The Water Quality Analysis (WQA) WQA presented below by MDE will address the 1996 Cu listing for Bodkin Creek, for which a data solicitation was conducted, and all readily available data from the past five years have been considered.  The nutrient listings for Bodkin Creek have been addressed through the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), which was approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on December 29, 2010, and a WQA for Pb and Zn in Bodkin Creek was approved by the EPA on February 20, 2009.  The sediment listing for the PATMH Tidal Chesapeake Bay Segment was also addressed via the Chesapeake Bay TMDL.  The listing for impacts to biological communities in the PATMH Tidal Chesapeake Bay Segment will be addressed separately at a future date.

The analysis presented in the report below supports the conclusion that a TMDL for Cu is not necessary to achieve water quality standards in Bodkin Creek. Barring the receipt of contradictory data, this report will be used to support a revision of the Integrated Report Cu listing for Bodkin Creek from Category 5 (“waterbody is impaired, does not attain the water quality standard, and a TMDL is required”) to Category 2 (“waterbodies meeting some [in this case Cu related] water quality standards, but with insufficient data to assess all impairment”) when MDE proposes the revision of the Integrated Report. Although the tidal waters of Bodkin Creek do not display signs of a Cu impairment, the State reserves the right to require future controls if evidence suggests that Cu from the watershed is contributing to downstream water quality problems.

Water Quality Analysis of Copper in the Bodkin Creek Portion of the Patapsco River Mesohaline Tidal Chesapeake Bay Segment, Anne Arundel County, Maryland

(Concurrence January 30, 2013)

EPA's Decision Letter

EPA's Decision Letter

Main Report  WQA Bodkin Creek Cu.pdf (1,909KB)
Comment Response Document CRD Bodkin Creek Cu WQA.pdf (7KB)

Contact Information

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