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Notice of Public Comment Period - Draft Revised TMDLs for Organochlorine Pesticides and Polychlorinated Biphenyls for Small Tributaries in Rock Creek and Potomac River Watersheds

Friday, July 29, 2016

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING AND SOLICITATION OF PUBLIC COMMENT

Draft Revised Total Maximum Daily Loads for Organochlorine Pesticides and Polychlorinated Biphenyls for Small Tributaries in Rock Creek and Potomac River Watersheds in the District of Columbia

The Director of the Department of Energy and Environment (the Department) is submitting for public review and comment the Draft revised Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for organics for the following Small Tributaries in the Rock Creek and Potomac River watersheds in the District of Columbia:

  • Broad Branch; Dumbarton Oaks; Dalecarlia Tributary; Fenwick Branch; Klingle Valley Creek; Luzon Branch;  Melvin Hazen Valley Branch; Normanstone Creek; Oxon Run; Pinehurst Branch; Piney Branch; Portal Branch; and Soapstone Creek.

The Draft revised TMDLs supersede the following TMDLs that were approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from 2004-2005:

  • District of Columbia Final Total Maximum Daily Loads for Organics and Metals in Broad Branch, Dumbarton Oaks, Fenwick Branch, Klingle Valley Creek, Luzon Branch, Melvin Hazen Valley Branch, Normanstone Creek, Pinehurst Branch, Piney Branch, Portal Branch, and Soapstone Creek Read More>>
  • District of Columbia Final Total Maximum Daily Loads for Organics and Metals in Battery Kemble Creek, Foundry Branch, and Dalecarlia Tributary Read More>>
  • District of Columbia Final Total Maximum Daily Loads for Organics and Metals and Bacteria in Oxon Run Read More>>

These TMDLs have been revised as a result of a challenge in federal District Court to the TMDLs above for failing to include daily load expressions. On January 15, 2009, the Anacostia Riverkeeper, Friends of the Earth, and Potomac Riverkeeper filed a complaint (Case No.: 1:09-cv-00098-JDB) that certain District TMDLs did not include a daily load expression established as required by Friends of the Earth vs. the Environmental Protection Agency, 446 F.3d 140, 144 (D.C. Cir. 2006).    The District Court ultimately vacated the subject TMDLs, but delayed vacatur in order to allow the District of Columbia and EPA sufficient time to establish and approve replacement TMDLs.  For purposes of these TMDLs, vacatur is stayed until January 1, 2017.

The Draft revised TMDLs provide daily loading expressions, and also incorporate new water quality standards that the District has promulgated since October 2005. The TMDLs that are being revised are based on waterbodies listed as impaired in the 2014 Integrated Report. 

The Department is also seeking comment on informational TMDLs that are presented in Appendix A.  These TMDLs have been calculated to meet the updated 2015 EPA Recommended Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Human Health because the Department is considering revising its human health criteria to be consistent with these updates in the next water quality standards triennial review.

Public Hearing

A public hearing on the above described Draft revised TMDLs may be held within the 30-day comment period (7/29/2016 to 8/29/2016), if requested by interested parties.

Beginning July 29, 2016, copies of the Draft TMDL revisions will be available online at the Department’s website.  A person may obtain a copy of the Draft TMDL revisions by any of the following means:

Download the documents attached below.

Email a request to [email protected] with “Organics TMDL Revisions” in the subject line.

Review a copy in person at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, 901 G. Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 during normal business hours.

Write the Department at 1200 First Street NE, 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20002, “Attn: George E. Onyullo, RE: Organics TMDL Revisions” on the outside of the envelope.

The deadline for comments is August 29, 2016 at 5:00 P.M. Person(s) may also submit written comment(s) by email, with a subject line of “Organics TMDL Revisions,” to the attention of George E. Onyullo at [email protected]. Comments clearly marked “Organics TMDL Revisions” may also be hand delivered or mailed to the Department’s offices at the address listed above. All comments should be received no later than Monday, August 29, 2016. All comments received on these Draft revised TMDLs during the comment period will be made part of the public record, and will be considered, as appropriate in any further revisions, prior to submitting a final draft to EPA for approval.