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Informational meeting to outline plans to address PCBs in Delaware Estuary

Release Date: 9/18/2003
Contact Information: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567

Contact: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567
PHILADELPHIA – Delaware residents will get an opportunity to learn more about a proposed environmental plan to reduce polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) releases in the Delaware River during an informational meeting on Monday, Sept. 22 in Wilmington, Del.

The meeting will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at the Carvel State Office Building, 820 North French Street.

Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have listed the Delaware Estuary as impaired due to elevated levels of PCBs in the tissue of fish caught in parts of the Delaware River from Trenton to the Delaware Bay. The listing was based on the failure to attain the estuary’s designated use – fishable waters.

When water quality standards, including numeric criterion for a designated use, are not attained despite the technology-based control of industrial and municipal wastewater, the Clean Water Act requires that the impaired water be identified on the state’s 303(d) list of impaired water. Once the waterway is on the list, a total maximum daily load (TMDL) must be developed to expresses the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive and still attain standards. Once the load is calculated, it is allocated to all sources in the watershed, which must reduce loads to allocated levels.

During the public meeting, representatives from EPA, the Delaware River Basin Commission and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and the Environment (DNREC) will explain the proposed TMDLs for the Delaware River and answer questions. The purpose of the meeting is to provide information. Public comments for the record will be accepted at a public hearing on the TMDLs on Oct. 16 at the Independence Visitors’ Center in Philadelphia. Additional informational meetings on these TMDLs are scheduled for Sept. 24 in Trenton, N.J.; and Sept. 25 in Conshohocken, Pa.

For additional information, contact Mary Kuo at EPA’s mid-Atlantic regional office at (215)814-5721.