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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 99-130


Request for Comment and Notice of Public Meeting for the Proposed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Upper Swatara Creek Watershed

[29 Pa.B. 498]

   The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) is holding a public meeting on January 27, 1999, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Little Run Sportsmans Club in Tremont, PA to discuss and accept comments on a proposed TMDL, established in accordance with the requirements of the 1996 Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act. Ten stream segments in the upper Swatara Creek Watershed have been identified as impaired on the 1996 Pennsylvania 303(d) list due to excess metals and sedimentation. The listed segments and miles degraded are shown in the following table:

Stream Stream Name Miles
10083 Coal Run   1.44
10084 Gebhard Run   1.99
10079 Goodspring Creek   6.59
10075 Lorberry Creek   1.74
10074 Lower Rausch Creek   3.93
10078 Middle Creek   5.32
10086 Panther Creek   1.73
10080 Poplar Creek   1.38
10076 Stumps Run   0.62
09361 Swatara Creek 10.04

   The proposed plan provides calculations of stream's total capacity to accept metals (aluminum, iron and manganese) and maintain levels below water quality criteria. The applicable water quality criteria are as follows:

Parameter Criterion value Duration Total Recoverable/
Aluminum 0.75 1 day average Total Recoverable
Iron 1.50
30 day average
Total Recoverable
Manganese 1.00 1 day average Total Recoverable
Total Suspended Solids None NA NA

   The primary pollutant source for the watershed is abandoned mine workings. This section of the Swatara Creek watershed was mined heavily for anthracite coal in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The effects of this are still present. Most of the allocations made in the TMDL are load allocations (LAs) which are made to nonpoint sources of pollution. There was one wasteload allocation made for a permitted point source discharge.

   The TMDL was developed using mass balance modeling techniques coupled with Monte Carlo Simulation to determine the long-term daily average concentrations that each stream segment could accept and still meet water quality criteria 99% of the time. Monte Carlo Simulation allows for the expansion of a data set based on its statistical makeup. Since there was no critical flow condition where criteria was exceeded, the Department used the 50th percentile flow to express the loading values in the TMDL. All analyses were started at the headwaters of each stream segment and a mass balance of pollutant concentration was conducted moving downstream accounting for all sources of pollutants.

   The TMDL sets allowable loading rates for metals at specified points in the watershed. The basis of information used in establishment of this TMDL is field data collected over the past 8 years.

   The data and all supporting information used to develop the proposed TMDL are available from the Department. To request a copy of the proposed TMDL and an information sheet, contact Stuart I. Gansell, Director, Bureau of Watershed Conservation, PA DEP, 400 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8555, (717) 787-5267. E-mail will be received at Directions to the Little Run Sportsmans Club can also be obtained by contacting this address.

   The TMDL can be viewed and printed on the DEP Website by going to Navigation, clicking Subjects, clicking Water Management, clicking Surface Water, clicking Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs). Please note that at the current time attachments and appendices must be requested through paper mail.

   Written comments will be accepted at the above address and must be postmarked by February 22, 1999. Persons who plan to make a presentation at the public meeting should notify the Department no later than 4 p.m. on Tuesday, January 26, 1999. The Department will consider all comments in developing the final TMDL, which will be submitted to the EPA for approval.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 99-130. Filed for public inspection January 22, 1999, 9:00 a.m.]

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