PWD Statement on EPA’s Proposed Dissolved Oxygen Criteria

The EPA has released proposed aquatic life designated use and dissolved oxygen (DO) water quality criteria for Zone 3, Zone 4, and the upper portion of Zone 5 of the Delaware Rive (in total, river miles 108.4 to 70.0; approximately from Philadelphia, PA to Wilmington, DE). The EPA is proposing this rule, Water Quality Standards to Protect Aquatic Life in the Delaware River, to ensure aquatic life designated uses and dissolved oxygen criteria protect all life stages of oxygen-sensitive species in those zones of the Delaware River, including two species of sturgeon that are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

The Philadelphia Water Department will formally comment on the proposed regulations, which will potentially increase the cost of drinking water and other water services for Philadelphia residents.

PWD’s statement summarizing some of the Water Department’s concerns can be found here.

Analysis and discussions about the costs and benefits of the new federal regulations are in progress. The EPA comment period ends February 20th.

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