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Draft Revisions to the Total Maximum Daily Load of Bacteria for Watersheds in the District

Notice of a Public Comment Period
for Draft Revisions to the Total Maximum Daily Load
of Bacteria for Watersheds in the District of Columbia

The Director of the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) is re-submitting for public review and comment, the Draft revisions to the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for fecal coliform bacteria in the following waterbodies in the District of Columbia (District):  

2004 Final Total Maximum Daily Load for Fecal Coliform Bacteria in Upper Potomac River, Middle Potomac River, Lower Potomac River, Battery Kemble Creek, Foundry Branch, and Dalecarlia Tributary (document is attached below).

The Draft revisions incorporate the new water quality standard for Escherichia coli (E. coli) that the District promulgated in October 2005 after the approval of the original TMDL for the above waterbodies, and provide a translation of those loads to E. coli, which is the  current bacteria water quality standard. In addition, the daily loading expressions for the new E. coli allocations are also provided.  The Draft revisions also satisfy the requirements of the settlement agreement reached between the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Anacostia Riverkeeper, Friends of the Earth, and Potomac Riverkeeper (Case No.: 1:09-cv-00098-JDB of January 15, 2009) that certain District TMDLs did not have 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 settlement agreement requires the establishment of daily loads in District TMDLs by December 2014.  The Draft revisions are presented as appendices to the existing TMDL and provide information and calculations regarding the translation from fecal coliform to E. coli, as well as methodologies for calculating the daily load expressions.

This public notice focuses on Draft revisions made to the load allocations assigned to Outfalls 001 and 002 for Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant in the Draft publicly noticed on February 8th, 2013.  Specifically, a revision has been made in Appendix C (Table 3; Table 4; Table 6; and the text under the sub-title: “Daily Load Calculations Approach for Blue Plains WWTP”) and Appendix D (Table 2; Table 5), as follows:

The revised Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) wasteload allocation (WLA) is specified as a concentration based on the existing E. coli water quality standard (WQS). The TMDL considered aspects of DC Water’s Long term Control Plan (LTCP).  DC Water provided a demonstration that its LTCP is expected to meet the E. coli WQS.  Post construction monitoring will be conducted to verify that those standards have been met.  Both the WLA and the LTCP have the same goal, i.e. to meet WQS in-stream.

For discharges from Blue Plains WWTP, the wasteload allocation and the maximum daily discharge shall not cause or contribute to an in-stream exceedance of the E. coli standard of 126 cfu/100ml determined by a rolling 30-day E. coli geometric mean.”

All other aspects of the Draft TMDLs are the same as the Draft TMDLs of February 8th, 2013, for which public comments have previously been received and accepted by DDOE. 

Opportunity for Public Review and Comment

A 30-day public comment period for the revised draft appendices associated with this TMDL revision will take place from June 2nd, 2014 to July 3rd, 2014.  Copies of the revised draft appendices are on file at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, 901 G. Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001, and may be inspected during normal business hours. You may also contact Mr. George Onyullo by mail at DDOE, 1200 First Street, NE, 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20002, or by telephone at 202-727-6529. Electronic copies of these revised draft appendices are also attached below.

DDOE requests that written comments concerning only the revisions in Appendix C (Table 3; Table 4; Table 6; wand the text under the sub-title: “Daily Load Calculations Approach for Blue Plains WWTP”) regarding the load allocations assigned to Outfalls 001 and 002 for the Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant may be submitted to DDOE on or before July 3rd, 2014.  Comments should be sent to Mr. George Onyullo at the above address or emailed to [email protected].  All comments received on this Draft TMDL revision 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.  A public hearing focusing only on the above described revisions may be held within the above stated 30-day comment period, if requested by interested parties.