Comment Period on Impaired Waters List Open for 60 Days

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 4, 2021) – The Kentucky Division of Water has opened a 60-day comment period on the 2018/2020 draft 303(d) list of impaired waters, as required by KRS 224.70-150.  The public notice announcement can be found here.

Comments on the draft 303(d) list may be sent to TMDL@ky.gov or mailed to the Water Quality Branch (Attn: 303(d) List), Kentucky Division of Water, 300 Sower Blvd, 3rd Floor, Frankfort, KY 40601. Commenters are asked to specify “303(d) List” in the subject line, to include contact information, and to reference specific listing identifiers where applicable.  Comments received by email or mail must be dated or postmarked no later than August 3, 2021.

New to this combined 2018/2020 reporting cycle is a dedicated public notice site to view the draft 303(d) list, new listings, proposed delistings, waters with completed total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), and the 305(b) list.  Spreadsheets and interactive maps with video tutorials are available through this site.  Links to assessment summaries and TMDL documents are available through the map dashboards or in the provided spreadsheets.

Section 305(b) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) requires states to report to Congress biennially on the health of the waters in the state and whether the water quality of individual waterbodies is sufficient to support its designated uses. In Kentucky, these designated uses include primary contact recreation, secondary contact recreation, aquatic life, domestic water supply, fish consumption, and outstanding state resource waters. The determination of designated use attainment is based on water quality sampling and assessment methodologies developed by the state and approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Information on all assessed waters are presented in the draft 2018/2020 305(b) list.

Section 303(d) of the CWA requires states to identify impaired waters, the pollutant(s) causing the impairment, and to develop a total maximum daily load (TMDL), which is a daily maximum allowance for each of those pollutants. Section 303(d) also requires a state to prioritize these waters for TMDL development. The TMDL supports plans and strategies for restoring water quality. Information on impaired waters and priority rankings are presented in the draft 2018/2020 303(d) list.

Monitoring that occurred to update assessments for the draft 2018/2020 305(b) and 303(d) lists was primarily from streams, rivers, and reservoirs in the Green and Tradewater Rivers Basin Management Unit (BMU), the Kentucky River BMU, and the Upper Cumberland and Four Rivers BMU. Monitoring also occurred outside of the BMUs of focus to provide statewide assessment updates. In total, 1,106 stations had data collected for assessment and 915 assessments were completed.    

As a reference, assessment results from the 2016 Integrated Report can be accessed at the Kentucky Water Health Portal.  Upon EPA approval of the 2018/2020 303(d) list, the Water Health Portal will be updated with the 2018/2020 305(b) assessment information.     

Public notice announcement: https://eec.ky.gov/Environmental-Protection/Water/Pages/Water-Public-Notices-and-Hearings.aspx

Public notice site: https://2018-2020-303d-public-notice-kygis.hub.arcgis.com/

Water Health Portal: https://watermaps.ky.gov/WaterHealthPortal/

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