The Elk River watershed (including Big Elk Creek, Little Elk Creek, the Upper Elk River and the Lower Elk River) is located in Cecil County in the Upper Eastern Shore region of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The northernmost portion of the watershed extends into Pennsylvania and the easternmost portion of the watershed extends into Delaware. The C&D Canal is located within the Back Creek watershed in Cecil County in the upper Eastern Shore region of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, with the easternmost portion extending into Delaware. The 14-mile-long C&D Canal was constructed in 1829 to connect the upper Chesapeake Bay and Delaware River. The Canal is currently operated by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. Maryland water quality regulations specify that all surface waters of the State shall be protected for water contact recreation, fishing, and the protection of aquatic life. The specific designated use of the Elk River Oligohaline Tidal Chesapeake Bay Segment and the C&D Canal Oligohaline 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 waters of the Elk River Oligohaline Tidal Chesapeake Bay Segment (Integrated Report Assessment Unit ID: MD-ELKOH) on the State’s 2012 Integrated Report as impaired for nutrients (nitrogen & phosphorous) (1996) and PCBs in fish tissue (2002). MDE has identified the waters of the C&D Canal Oligohaline Tidal Chesapeake Bay Segment (Integrated Report Assessment Unit ID: MD-C&DOH) on the State’s 2012 Integrated Report as impaired by nutrients (nitrogen & phosphorous) (1996), arsenic (1996), cadmium (1996), silver (1996), and PCBs in fish tissue (2002). Water Quality Analyses of arsenic, cadmium, and silver in the C&D Canal were approved by the EPA in November 2005. The Chesapeake Bay TMDL, which was approved by the EPA in December 2010, has addressed the nutrient listing for the Elk River and the C&D Canal. The document, available below, establishes total PCB (tPCB) TMDLs for the combined watersheds, for which a data solicitation was conducted, and all readily available data from the past 5 years have been considered. The TMDL is for the combined Elk River and C&D Canal watersheds (modeling demonstrates that the watersheds are connected hydrodynamically).
Total Maximum Daily Loads of Polychlorinated Biphenyls in the Elk River Oligohaline and the C&D Canal Oligohaline Tidal Chesapeake Bay Segments in Cecil County, Maryland
(Approved on December 30, 2014)
Comment Response Document
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