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EPA establishes clean-up plans for Lake Wallenpaupack

Release Date: 4/14/2005
Contact Information: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567

Contact: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567
PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established plans to improve the water quality of Lake Wallenpaupack, located in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The plans, which were developed by EPA in coordination with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, establish two “pollution budgets” known as Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), that set the maximum amount of specific pollutants (phosphorous and mercury) that can be introduced into the lake.

“Through a teamwork approach with Pennsylvania, we have produced plans that we believe will dramatically improve the environmental health of Lake Wallenpaupack so that it will continue to thrive as a valuable recreation area,” said Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.

Lake Wallenpaupack is a 5,531-acre man-made lake with approximately 219 square miles of drainage area. Its 52 miles of shoreline cross the boundaries of three townships (Paupack, Palmyra, and Salaem) in Pike and Wayne counties.

When a water body does not meet its water quality standards for a particular pollutant, the federal Clean Water Act requires the state to include the water body on its list of impaired waters. Pennsylvania had identified Lake Wallenpaupack as impaired by pollutants including nutrients and mercury.

Once the water body is impaired, a TMDL must be developed to set the maximum amount of a specific pollutants that an estuary, lake or river can receive. After that load amount is calculated, specified sources of that pollutant in the watershed are required to reduce their contributions of the contaminant to specified levels.

The final TMDLs can be reviewed on the EPA Region 3 website at .