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Kentucky Division of Water Releases List of Impaired Waters

09.21.2012

In August, the Kentucky Division of Water released the 2012 Integrated Report to Congress on the Condition of Water Resources in Kentucky.  In Volume One of the draft Integrated Report, DOW provides all water quality assessment results for surface waters in Kentucky.  Volume Two provides a subset of the assessed water segments that are impaired and require development of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).  The 2012 draft report lists 2,460 impaired waters, which is a minor increase from the previous report in 2010.  DOW credits the increase to amplified monitoring efforts and not further degradation of water quality. 

The Clean Water Act requires states to biennially list waters that do not meet Water Quality Standards (WQS) set by the states.  Each state must establish a priority ranking of the impaired waters on the list and then develop a TMDL for waterbodies impaired by a pollutant.  A TMDL is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a waterbody can receive and still comply with WQS with a margin of safety.

As of May 2012, 313 TMDLs have been approved by EPA after submission by DOW.  In addition, EPA has approved delisting requests for 431 pollutant/waterbody combinations.  Delisting occurs when DOW demonstrates that a listed pollutant/waterbody combination no longer requires a TMDL.  Delisting may occur even though the waterbody may still be listed as impaired for other pollutants.  Currently, there are over 700 pollutant/waterbody combinations for which a TMDL is under development.  In 2012, 41 TMDLs are planned for public notice with 114 TMDLs planned for public notice in 2013.  

The draft report is available at http://water.ky.gov/Documents/PublicNotice/2012%20IR%20Document-proposed.pdf.

To view a complete PDF of the July/August 2012 issue of the Environmental Letter, click HERE.

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