Water Quality Analyses (WQA) with EPA Concurrence of MDE's Findings: Jones Falls

The Jones Falls watershed is located in the Upper Western Shore region of the Chesapeake Bay watershed within Maryland. 

The Jones Falls (basin code 02130904), located in Baltimore County and Baltimore City, MD, was identified on the State’s list of water quality limited segments (WQLSs) as impaired by chlordane (1996 listing), copper (Cu) (1996 listing), lead (Pb) (1996 listing), zinc (Zn) (1996 listing), nutrients (1996 listing) suspended sediments (1996 listing), fecal coliform (2002 listing), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in fish tissue (2002 listing) and evidence of biological impacts (2002 listing).  The PCB listing is designated for the Lake Roland impoundment while the remaining listings apply to the non-tidal streams.  The report available below provides an analysis of recent heavy metals monitoring data, including hardness data.  A data solicitation for metals was conducted by MDE and all readily available data from the past five years was considered.  The study finds that the applicable aquatic life criteria for Cu and Pb and the designated uses supported by those criteria are being met in the Jones Falls except for the lower most 12-digit basin (basin code 021309041032).  Exceedances of the applicable criteria for Cu were found only in this basin.  Based on impairment listing methodologies applied by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), this 12-digit basin is impaired for Cu.  The analysis supports the conclusion that a TMDL of Cu and Pb is not required for the entire 8-digit basin.  Additional monitoring in the 12-digit basin is necessary to identify the source of impairment.  An evaluation of this data will determine if a TMDL or implementation of a technological control is required to correct the impairment.  Barring the receipt of any contradictory data, this report will be used to support the removal of the 8-digit basin from Maryland’s list of WQLSs for Cu and Pb and to only list the 12-digit basin for Cu when the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) proposes the revision of Maryland’s 303(d) list for public review in the future.  A TMDL of chlordane for Lake Roland was completed in 2001.  A water quality analysis (WQA) of Zn was completed in 2003.  A TMDL for fecal bacteria was completed in 2006.  The nutrient, suspended sediments, PCBs and biological impairments will be addressed at a future date.

WQA of Copper and Lead for the Jones Falls, Baltimore County and Baltimore City, MD

(Concurrence December 2, 2004)

EPA's Decision Letter

EPA's Decision Letter

Main Report 


Comment Response Document



Contact Information

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