FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 10, 2016) – The Energy and Environment Cabinet is seeking public comment until December 10, 2016 on a draft report addressing bacteria, pH and metals impairments in the Pond Creek watershed which is located in Muhlenberg County, KY.
It’s one of those days where you don’t need rain to feel wet all over. The air is as thick as the clouds in the sky. Environmental biologists Katie McKone and Jessica Schuster are knee deep in the Strodes Creek Watershed in Bourbon and Clark Counties to take the same water readings they’ve been taking for the last 18 months. They’re collecting the data necessary to develop a pollutant reduction strategy, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), with the goal of taking the impacted watershed from polluted to meeting water quality standards. Collecting the necessary data can be difficult, especially when the water is very high or when vegetation surrounding the waterways is more than head high, but it’s an important job because the data gathered here could direct efforts to help make Kentucky’s waterways cleaner and healthier.
In the lower 48 states, Kentucky ranks in the top 15 for miles of navigable water. But with that water comes the responsibility we all share to keep it clean because, in one form or another, we all live in a watershed. All of Kentucky’s small streams, creeks, rivers and lakes ultimately lead to larger bodies of water like the Ohio River, which eventually leads to the Mississippi River and on to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Division of Water, as part of its triennial review of water quality standards, is proposing to add 20 new waterbodies as outstanding state resource waters (OSRWs) and 13 new waterbodies as “Exceptional” waters. The number of waterbodies included as OSRWs and “Exceptional” waters are good indicators of water quality improvement. The list of OSRWs, which include the highest quality waterbodies in Kentucky and those waterbodies that support threatened and endangered species, has grown from 157 OSRWs in 2008 to 423 designated OSRWs in 2015. The list of “Exceptional” waters, including Reference Reach Waters has also grown, from a list of 118 waterbodies listed as having “Exceptional” water quality and aquatic habitats, to 254.
The Kentucky Division of Water is seeking public comment until May 18, 2015 on a draft report addressing water quality impairments related to pH and metals. The report, Proposed Draft Total Maximum Daily Load for pH, Cadmium, Iron, Nickel and Zinc, 16 Pollutant-Waterbody Combinations on 6 Stream Segments, Hopkins County, Kentucky, has been prepared as required by the federal Clean Water Act.