Ellis Bay Watershed, Lower Wicomico River, Wicomico County, MD

Notice of Intent to Establish a TMDL for Sediments

Section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) directs States to identify and list waters, known as water quality limited segments (WQLSs), in which current required controls of a specified substance are inadequate to achieve water quality standards.  For each WQLS, the State is required to establish a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) of the specified substance(s) that the waterbody can receive without violating water quality standards, demonstrate that another program or action will achieve water quality standards, or demonstrate via the development of a Water Quality Analysis (WQA) that water quality standards for the specified substance(s) are currently being achieved.  The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) hereby gives notice of the public availability of a draft TMDL document for Fecal Coliform in the Restricted Shellfish Area of Ellis Bay in the Lower Wicomico River (basin code 02130301-WICMH).

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) first identified the waterbody of Ellis Bay in Lower Wicomico River Mesohaline Chesapeake Bay Segment (Integrated Report Assessment Unit ID: MD-WICMH-Ellis_Bay) on the State's 2014 Integrated Report as impaired by fecal coliform in the restricted shellfish harvesting area. The TMDL will address the fecal coliform listing for the restricted shellfish harvesting area in Ellis Bay, for which a data solicitation was conducted, and all readily available data have been considered. 

The TMDL sets the maximum load limit for the impairing substance.  The TMDL also reflects load allocations to point sources, nonpoint sources and a margin of safety that accounts for uncertainty in the procedures used to estimate the TMDL.  Once established by the State, the TMDL will be subject to approval by the U.S. EPA.  The approved TMDL will support measures needed to attain water quality standards in the Ellis Bay restricted shellfish harvesting area.


A 30-day public comment period for the draft document will take place from February 17, 2021 to March 18, 2021.  The draft document is available on the Internet at web site http://www.mde.maryland.gov/TMDL under Drafts for Public Comment or by contacting Ms. Melissa Chatham by email at Melissa.Chatham@maryland.gov, or by telephone at 443-908-0338 (outside the Baltimore area, dial 1-800-633-6101 x3937).  Anyone wishing to review the draft documents and supporting information or needing technical information may contact Ms. Chatham during normal business hours.

Written comments concerning the draft document may be submitted to the Department on or before March 18, 2021 and should be sent to Ms. Chatham at the above address or emailed to melissa.chatham@maryland.gov.  All comments received during the comment period will be considered and the draft document may be revised accordingly prior to its submittal to EPA for approval.

Draft Total Maximum Daily Loads of Fecal Coliform in the Restricted Shellfish Harvesting Area of Ellis Bay in the Lower Wicomico River
in Wicomico County, Maryland
Ellis Bay Bacteria TMDL
Main Report
Ellis_Bay_Bacteria_TMDL_PN.pdf (1029 KB)