What River Forms the Border Between Indiana And

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					           Section II

      Basinwide Survey:
Ohio and Tennessee River Valley
Basinwide Survey: Ohio and Tennessee River Valley

          The U.S. Environmental
     Protection Agency (EPA) requested
     that the Ohio River Valley Water
     Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO)
     and the Tennessee Valley Authority
     (TVA) produce a prototype basin-
     wide assessment of water quality
     conditions in the Ohio and
     Tennessee River Valley. This basin-
     wide assessment illustrates how EPA
     might present information in the
     National Water Quality Inventory
     Report to Congress in future years.
     The information in this assessment
     was drawn from several sources,

     primarily the most recent Section
     305(b) reports submitted by the
     individual States in the Ohio and
     Tennessee River Valley. This assess-
     ment illustrates how EPA can com-                 recommendations. The basin
     pile State water quality information              overview describes how well water-
                                                                                                Basin Description
     into assessments of conditions in                 sheds throughout the basin support            The Ohio and Tennessee River
     major basins throughout the                       four basic stream uses—aquatic life      basin covers more than 200,000
     United States.                                    support, contact recreation (such as     square miles in 14 States and con-
          The Ohio and Tennessee River                 swimming), public drinking water         stitutes 6.5% of the continental
     basin assessment also illustrates                 supply, and fish consumption. The        United States (Figure 1). The Ohio
     many of the recommendations pro-                  overview also identifies pollutants      River mainstem extends 981 miles
     posed by the Intergovernmental                    impairing the use of streams and         from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to
     Task Force on Monitoring Water                    the sources of these pollutants. The     Cairo, Illinois, where it joins the
     Quality (ITFM). The ITFM was                      section on the Allegheny River           Mississippi River. Along the way,
     established to develop a strategic                Watershed illustrates the level of       the Ohio River forms the border
     plan for effective collection, inter-             detail that can be presented for         between Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois
     pretation, and presentation of                    smaller individual watersheds with-      to the north and West Virginia and
     water quality data nationwide and                 in a large basin. Finally, this report   Kentucky to the south.
     to improve its availability for deci-             describes special issues of concern           The basin’s topography varies
     sion making (see sidebar).                        in the Ohio and Tennessee River          from the Appalachian Mountains in
          The three major sections in this             basin and recommends changes to          the east to the midwestern prairies
     report are: (1) an overview of con-               monitoring and reporting methods         in the west. Land use patterns gen-
     ditions throughout the entire Ohio                that should make it easier to inte-      erally follow topographic character-
     and Tennessee River basin; (2) a                  grate water quality information          istics. Forests, agriculture, and
     more detailed analysis of water                   submitted by multiple agencies           mining dominate the land use in
     quality conditions in the Allegheny               into an interstate basinwide water       the northeastern portion of the
     River subbasin; and (3) a discussion              quality assessment.                      basin; most of the land is forested
     of special concerns and                                                                    in the southeastern portion; and

                                                                                    agricultural cropland dominates the
                                                                                    western areas of the basin. Almost
                        About This Section                                          three-fourths of the Nation’s identi-
     Communicating information about environmental conditions to the
                                                                                    fied coal reserves are located within
public is a challenging task for scientists and engineers. They are trained to      the basin. Due in part to this fact,
focus on details and use precise technical terms so others can repeat their         there are a considerable number of
experiments and analyses. As a result, most scientific papers are nearly            electric power plants located in the
incomprehensible to anyone except narrowly focused specialists. But the             basin. Other major industries
public and elected officials are interested in environmental conditions.            include steel and petrochemical
Furthermore, the public ultimately pays for most environmental research and         production.
monitoring, either through taxes or by purchasing consumer goods with                    Over 26 million people live in
those costs embedded in the prices.                                                 the Ohio and Tennessee River
     Recognizing these facts, in 1992 the Intergovernmental Task Force on           basin. Large cities include Pitts-
Monitoring (ITFM), a multiagency group examining ways to improve water
                                                                                    burgh, Cincinnati, and Louisville on
quality monitoring throughout the United States, began identifying common
characteristics of successful environmental reports. They found reports that
                                                                                    the Ohio River mainstem, as well as
effectively communicate environmental information to the public use                 Columbus, Indianapolis, Chatta-
common guidelines taught in journalism:                                             nooga, and Nashville. Major tribu-
                                                                                    taries to the Ohio River include
   s   Put the most important information at the beginning.                         the Allegheny, Monongahela,
   s   Draw significant conclusions without too many qualifications.                Kanawha, Kentucky, Green,
   s   Write in a conversational style that is easy to read.                        Wabash, Cumberland, and Tennes-
                                                                                    see Rivers.
   s   Avoid technical terms as much as possible and keep sentences
       relatively short.
   s   When technical terms must be used, define them directly or
                                                                                    Water Use in the
       through context.                                                             Basin
   s   Use clear and accurate graphics that help illustrate the ideas                     Abundant rainfall in the Ohio
       presented in the text.
                                                                                    and Tennessee River Valley main-
   s   Avoid complex figures that try to convey too much information.               tains steady flows in the Ohio River
   s   If possible, use color to increase appeal to readers, to make figures        and its tributaries that support
       easier to understand, and to tie common elements together                    many uses, such as transportation,
       throughout the report.                                                       drinking water supply, and indus-
   s   Be brief—know how long a report your audience is likely to
                                                                                    trial uses. Over 40% of the Nation’s
       actually read.                                                               waterborne commerce is trans-
                                                                                    ported on more than 2,500 miles
   s   Have enough “white space” to make text pages less intimidating               of commercially navigable water-
       to readers.
                                                                                    ways in the Ohio and Tennessee
   s   Use a multicolumn format, which helps make text pages more                   River basin. Coal and petroleum
       “friendly.”                                                                  products are the most common
   s   Use a serif typeface for text and a san-serif typeface for headings.         commodities carried by barge on
                                                                                    the navigable waterways. Streams
     Most audiences are interested in reports that integrate environmental
                                                                                    and lakes in the basin also provide
information across scientific disciplines and political boundaries. They may
want to pull the information apart to get a State-by-State picture or to see
                                                                                    water for a variety of industrial
results for one scientific discipline such as fisheries. However, they first want   purposes, including processing and
to see how the different pieces fit together to form a complete picture of          cooling. Numerous coal-fired
environmental conditions.                                                           power plants and nuclear facilities
                                                                                    use large amounts of water to cool

     Figure 1. Ohio and Tennessee River Basin

                                                                                                                                                        Allegheny River

                                                     Wabash River                                                                                           Youghiogheny
                                                                                                                                       Ohio                     River
                                                                                                              Scioto                   River
                                                                                              G. Miami
                                 Embarass              W. Fork                                    L. Miami
                                   River              White River                                   River          Hocking

                                                                                                                                               L. Kanawha
                                                                                                 Ohio River                                        River
                            L. Wabash
                               River                                                                                                    Kanawha River
                                                                  E. Fork                                    Big Sandy
                                                                 White River                 Licking            River
                                                    Ohio River
                                                                                Salt River
                                  Saline River
                                                                                             Kentucky River
                                                          Green River                                                         Clinch
                                                                                                                              River                     New River
                                Ohio River

                  Mississippi                               River
                                                                                                                                  French Broad
                    River                                                                                                             River
                                                                 Duck River                                        L. Tennessee

                                                                    Elk River

                                                                         Tennessee River

steam produced by these plants.         information with water quality          TVA focused on four basic desig-
There are also a number of hydro-       criteria established by the States.     nated uses—aquatic life support,
electric power plants in the basin,     Water quality criteria define condi-    contact recreation (such as swim-
particularly on the Tennessee and       tions that must be met to support       ming), public water supply, and
Cumberland Rivers.                      designated beneficial uses (such as     fish consumption. These uses were
     Water uses of primary concern      bacteria limits for safe swimming       selected because they are more
in this assessment are those that       use). Each State is responsible for     sensitive to water quality condi-
depend on good water quality            assigning (i.e., designating) uses to   tions than other uses (such as
conditions (e.g., public water          each of the waterbodies within its      transportation), and the States
supply, water contact recreation,       borders. A State may designate a        have designated most of the rivers,
aquatic life use, and fish consump-     waterbody for multiple uses, and        streams, and lakes in the basin for
tion). Most of the rivers, streams,     each designated use may have dif-       one or more of these uses.
and lakes in the basin are classified   ferent criteria. At a minimum, the           In addition, ORSANCO and
for more than one of these uses.        Clean Water Act requires that           TVA compiled assessment informa-
     About 10 million people in the     States designate their waters for       tion concerning water quality con-
basin receive drinking water from       uses that protect swimming and          ditions in individual watersheds
public water supply systems that        aquatic life.                           within the Ohio and Tennessee
use surface water as a source. Most          EPA encourages the States to       River basin. Where possible,
of the designated swimming              use consistent use support cate-        ORSANCO and TVA organized the
beaches are located on the many         gories for rating water quality         States’ use support information by
lakes and reservoirs in the basin,      conditions in their waterbodies:        watersheds defined by the U.S.
but many people also water ski on                                               Geological Survey (USGS). USGS
                                            s Fully supporting – good
and swim in the larger rivers.                                                  divides the United States (including
                                        water quality meets criteria for
Whitewater canoeing, kayaking,                                                  the Ohio and Tennessee River
                                        designated uses.
and rafting are popular activities on                                           basin) into many watersheds, each
several rivers, including the New            s Threatened – good water          identified with a unique 8-digit
and the Gauley in West Virginia,        quality meets designated use crite-     hydrologic unit code (HUC). Each
the Ocoee in Tennessee, and the         ria now, but may not in the future.     watershed unit consists of a set of
Nantahala in North Carolina.                                                    connected rivers, lakes, and other
                                            s Partially supporting – fair
     Most of the waters of the basin                                            waterbodies that drain about 1,000
                                        water quality fails to meet desig-
are capable of supporting warm                                                  square miles. A few States did not
                                        nated use criteria at times.
water aquatic communities that                                                  report their 305(b) information by
include bass, catfish, sauger, and          s Not supporting – poor water       standardized 8-digit HUCs, so
sunfish. Sport fishing is steadily      quality frequently fails to meet        ORSANCO and TVA summarized
increasing throughout the basin,        designated use criteria.                their data by larger watershed units
and there is a significant commer-                                              when possible. In some cases, data
                                            The States survey use support
cial fishing and mussel industry on                                             had to be excluded from the
                                        status in their waterbodies and
the Tennessee and lower Ohio                                                    watershed assessments for those
                                        submit the results to EPA in their
Rivers.                                                                         States that did not associate their
                                        Section 305(b) reports every
                                                                                water quality information with any
                                        2 years. ORSANCO and TVA
                                                                                watershed units.
Rating Water Quality                    assessed basinwide water quality
                                                                                     Each watershed contains multi-
Conditions in the                       conditions by pooling the use sup-
                                                                                ple rivers and streams, some of
                                        port information submitted by the
Basin                                   Ohio and Tennessee River basin
                                                                                which are typically in excellent
                                                                                condition while others are in fair or
                                        States in their most recent Section
    EPA and the States rate water                                               poor condition. For this report,
                                        305(b) reports (most of which were
quality conditions by comparing                                                 ORSANCO and TVA developed five
                                        submitted in 1994). ORSANCO and
water quality data and narrative                                                categories for rating general water

     quality conditions in watersheds         those used for the Ohio and            States within the basin presented
     based on the combination of river        Tennessee River basin. Redefinition    aquatic life use information in their
     miles in good, fair, or poor condi-      of rating categories may be neces-     1994 Section 305(b) reports in a
     tion (i.e., fully supporting uses or     sary.                                  format that enabled ORSANCO
     threatened, partially supporting                                                and TVA to isolate the data pertain-
     uses, or not supporting uses).                                                  ing to the Ohio and Tennessee
     Watersheds with a high percentage
                                              Overview of                            River basin from statewide
     of river miles fully supporting des-     Conditions in the
     ignated uses received the best           Ohio and Tennessee                      Figure 2. River Miles Surveyed
     water quality rating. The worst
     water quality rating was assigned        River Basin                            Total rivers = 255,330 miles
                                                                                     Total surveyed = 83,366 miles
     to watersheds with a high percent-
     age of river miles not supporting
                                              Aquatic Life Use
                                              Support                                                    33% Surveyed
     designated uses. The remaining
     watersheds received three inter-
     mediate water quality ratings. The       Basinwide Assessment
     criteria for each rating category             During 1992-1994, the States
     were derived by ranking conditions       surveyed aquatic life use support
     in streams and assigning an equal        status in approximately one-third
     number of assessed stream miles to       (33%) of all rivers and streams                            67% Not Surveyed
     each category.                           within the Ohio and Tennessee
          This approach to rating water
                                              River basin (Figure 2), or almost
     quality conditions provides a good                                               Figure 3. Levels of Overall Use
                                              half (45%) of the perennial rivers
     picture of relative conditions                                                             Support – Rivers
                                              and streams (those that flow year
     among watersheds. It should be                                                               Good
                                              round) in the basin. The States
     applicable for evaluating conditions                                                         (Fully Supporting)
                                              assessed aquatic life use support in
     in other large river basins; however,                                                        70%
                                              more river miles than any other
     rating categories for other basins       designated use. Eleven of the 14
     will not necessarily correspond to
                         What is Aquatic Life Use?
           Waters that fully support aquatic life use provide suitable habitat for                Fair
                                                                                                  (Partially Supporting)
      the protection and propagation of a healthy community of fish, shellfish,
      and other aquatic organisms. In general, healthy aquatic communities
      support many different species of organisms, many of which are intoler-
      ant to pollution. Each State establishes its own criteria for measuring                     Poor
      how well its waters support aquatic life uses. Some States have biological                  (Not Supporting)
      criteria that directly measure the health of the aquatic community (such                    10%
      as species diversity measurements). However, many States still rely
      primarily on physical and chemical criteria that define habitat require-                    Poor
      ments for a healthy aquatic community (such as minimum dissolved                            (Not Attainable)
      oxygen concentrations and maximum concentrations of toxic                                   0%
      chemicals). Physical and chemical measurements provide an indirect
      measure of aquatic community health.                                           Source: Based on 1994 State Section 305(b)

assessment data. Additional infor-      Watershed Assessments                        contain a few streams that do not
mation was retrieved from West                                                       support aquatic life. However,
Virginia’s 1992 Waterbody System            Figure 4 illustrates aquatic life        when examined as a group, more
database.                               use support ratings for individual           rivers and streams in the best
     Approximately 70% of the           watersheds in the Ohio and                   watersheds support aquatic life
surveyed streams in the Ohio and        Tennessee River basin. The ratings           uses. Watersheds that appear red
Tennessee River basin fully support     range from the best use support              contain the greatest percentage of
aquatic life (Figure 3). These rivers   status (blue) to the worst use sup-          streams not supporting aquatic life
and streams provide suitable condi-     port status (red), with three inter-         use, although several streams in
tions for the survival and reproduc-    mediate ratings (light blue, green,          these watersheds may fully support
tion of fish and other aquatic          and gold). The use support ratings           a diverse aquatic community.
organisms. An additional 5% of the      summarize general conditions in                   Figure 4 suggests that Ohio
surveyed streams were classified as     each watershed. The best water-              contains many of the watersheds
threatened because these streams        sheds contain the highest percent-           with the worst aquatic life use sup-
fully support aquatic life uses now,    age of rivers and streams that fully         port status, but it is very unlikely
but sources of pollution may jeop-      support aquatic life use, even               that water quality conditions in
ardize that support if they are not     though these watersheds may
adequately controlled. Only 15% of
the surveyed streams partially sup-      Figure 4. Aquatic Life Use Support: Ohio and Tennessee River Basin
port aquatic life, and 10% do not
meet State criteria for supporting
aquatic life uses.

 NOTE: For this report,
 assumed that overall use support
 information in the Section
 305(b) reports and the Water-
 body System represents aquatic
 life use support information.
 Overall use support is a com-
 bined measure of how well a
 waterbody supports all of its
 individual uses. Overall use is
 impaired if poor water quality
 conditions impair one or more
 individual uses. For many water-
 bodies, aquatic life use support
 status equates with the overall
 use support rating because
 aquatic life use is more sensitive                                                                       Best Water Quality
 to pollution than other desig-
 nated uses.
                                                                                                          Worst Water Quality

     Ohio are much different than in the               Pollutants Impairing Rivers                           NOTE: The sum of river miles
     adjacent States. It is more likely                and Streams                                           impaired by all pollutants may
     that Ohio contains a lot of water-
                                                            Eleven States reported both                      exceed the estimate of river
     sheds with poor ratings because
                                                       aquatic life use assessments and                      miles that do not fully support
     Ohio uses primarily biological mon-
                                                       estimates of river miles impaired by                  designated uses because multi-
     itoring data and strict criteria to
                                                       specific pollutants.* These States                    ple pollutants may impact an
     assess aquatic life use support sta-
                                                       reported that siltation and organic                   individual river segment. For
     tus in its rivers and streams. Ohio
                                                       enrichment are the most common                        example, both siltation and
     Environmental Protection Agency
                                                       pollutants impacting aquatic life                     nutrients may pollute a 1-mile
     studies show that using biological
                                                       throughout the Ohio and Tennes-                       river reach. In such cases, a State
     data to evaluate aquatic life use
                                                       see River basin (Figure 5). Siltation                 may report that 1 mile is not
     support identifies 35% to 50%
                                                       impairs over half of the river miles                  fully supporting its designated
     more rivers and streams that do
                                                       that fail to fully support aquatic life               uses, 1 mile is impaired by silta-
     not support aquatic life use than
                                                       use. Silt and sediments deposited in                  tion, and 1 mile is impaired by
     assessments that rely exclusively on
                                                       rivers and streams destroy the habi-                  nutrients. In this example, only
     chemical and physical data. Conse-
                                                       tat of many aquatic organisms,                        1 stream mile is impaired, but
     quently, aquatic life use support
                                                       including nesting and spawning                        the State identifies pollutants
     ratings depend not only on the
                                                       areas of important fish species. Silt                 impairing a total of 2 stream
     health of biological communities
                                                       also smothers benthic organisms,                      miles.
     and the water quality of the rivers
     and streams, but also on the use
     support criteria and assessment
     techniques used by each State.                     Figure 5. Pollutants Found in Surveyed Rivers and Stream
          Another example of how differ-
                                                        Leading Pollutants                                                            Impaired %
     ences in State assessment methods
     affect the use support assessments                 Siltation                                                                                  57%
     can be seen along the Kentucky-
     Tennessee border. Here, the aquatic
                                                        Organic Enrichment/DO                                                                      32%
     life use attainment in the Kentucky
     portion of the Cumberland River
     watershed is designated as “best,”                 Metals                                                                                     29%
     while the Tennessee portion of the
     watershed is shown as having                       Nutrients                                                          Major                   19%
     lower degrees of aquatic life                                                                                         Moderate/Minor
                                                                                                                           Not Specified
     support. Similar “State line faults”               pH                                                                                         19%
     occur throughout the basin, partic-
     ularly along the borders between                                                0        10        20       30        40        50       60
     Indiana and Illinois and between
                                                                                                   Percent of Impaired River Miles
     Virginia and North Carolina.

     * This report attempts to discriminate among pollutants impairing aquatic life uses and pollutants impairing other designated uses, such as
      contact recreation and drinking water supply. However, many States reported total miles of pollutants rather than miles of pollutants for individ-
      ual uses. As a result, this report assumes that pollutants that impaired the overall use support of a stream also impacted an equal mileage of
      streams designated for aquatic life use.

and materials suspended in water         This watershed analysis confirms             Sources of Pollutants
interfere with respiration and diges-    that siltation is a widespread prob-         Impairing Rivers and
tion. In addition, contaminated          lem throughout the Ohio and                  Streams
sediments act as a reservoir for         Tennessee River Valley. In contrast,
different types of pollutants that       impacts from metals appear to be                  Eleven States also reported the
may be released into the water           concentrated in Pennsylvania                 sources of pollutants impairing
column over time.                        watersheds and a few isolated                rivers and streams of the Ohio and
     Organic enrichment impacts          watersheds in areas that support             Tennessee River basin. The States
32% of the river miles that fail to      mining activities. Impacts from              identified resource extraction,
fully support aquatic life use in the    organic enrichment and low dis-              which includes mining and petrole-
Ohio and Tennessee River basin.          solved oxygen are most common                um activities, as the most common
Organic enrichment depletes the          in Ohio, Kentucky, and the                   source of pollution (Figure 7).
dissolved oxygen content in the          Alabama portion of the Tennessee             Resource extraction accounts for
water column. Many desirable fish        River subbasin.                              siltation, low pH (i.e., high acidity),
and other aquatic species cannot
survive or propagate in waters with
low oxygen concentrations.                Figure 6. Major Pollutants of Ohio and Tennessee River Basin
     Following siltation and organic
enrichment, the most common
pollutants of rivers and streams
within the Ohio River basin are
metals, nutrients, and pH (a mea-
sure of acidity). Elevated metals
concentrations and acidic
conditions, often associated with
abandoned mining operations, can
be lethal to aquatic communities.
Excessive inputs of nutrients can
harm aquatic communities by trig-
gering the growth of algae popula-
tions (i.e., algae blooms) that
destabilize dissolved oxygen con-
centrations in the water column.
     Based on data submitted by
11 States, ORSANCO and TVA
identified the most common pollut-
ant in each of the watershed units
throughout the basin (Figure 6).
Insufficient data were available to
determine the major pollutants in
Indiana, Georgia, and Mississippi.
Figure 6 illustrates that siltation is                                                                   No Impairment
the most prevalent pollutant in the                                                                      Organic Enrichment
greatest number of watersheds.                                                                           Metals
                                                                                                         Insufficient Data

 and high levels of metals in almost               reported that pastureland is the          watersheds. Resource extraction is
 half of all impaired rivers and                   most common agricultural source           by far the most significant pollu-
 streams. Some States reported the                 of impairment in rivers and streams       tion source in the upper part of
 miles of rivers polluted by specific              in the Ohio and Tennessee River           the basin (Pennsylvania, West
 resource extraction activities,                   basin, followed by nonirrigated           Virginia, Virginia, and eastern Ohio
 including surface and subsurface                  crop production.                          and Kentucky), while agriculture
 mining, acid mine drainage, mine                       Urban activities also impact         and municipal point sources pre-
 and mill tailings, and petroleum                  many rivers and streams in the            dominate in the rest of the basin.
 activities (Figure 8). Both active                basin. Municipal point sources            Agricultural runoff is a particular
 mining and acid mine drainage                     pollute 23% of the impaired river         concern throughout the Tennessee
 from active and abandoned mines                   miles in the basin (the third largest     River basin and the Illinois portion
 are significant sources of concern in             source of pollution following             of the Wabash River basin. Waters
 the Ohio and Tennessee River                      resource extraction and agricultural      polluted by municipal point source
 basin.                                            activities). Combined sewer over-
      Agriculture is the second lead-              flows, storm sewers, and urban
 ing source of pollutants impacting                runoff also impact 18% of the             Figure 8. Resource Extraction Activities
 the rivers and streams of the Ohio                impaired rivers and streams.                        Polluting Rivers and Streams
 and Tennessee River basin. Approxi-                    ORSANCO and TVA also identi-
                                                                                                  Dredge Mining
 mately 40% of the impaired rivers                 fied the most common sources of                    (<1%)
 and streams do not achieve full                   pollutants in each watershed (insuf-
 aquatic life use support as a result              ficient data were available to deter-             Mine Tailings          Mill Tailings
                                                                                                        (10%)                 (<1%)
 of agricultural activities. Several               mine the major sources of pollut-
 States reported impacts from more                 ants in Indiana, Georgia, and                                                   Mining
 specific agricultural activities, such            Mississippi) (Figure 10). The top
 as nonirrigated crop production                   three sources of pollution basin-          Activities
 and feedlots (Figure 9). Based on                 wide also generate significant water        (26%)
 more limited data, these States                   quality problems within individual

                                                                                                            Acid Mine Drainage
     Figure 7. Sources of Pollutants Found in Surveyed Rivers and Streams

     Leading Sources                                                           Impaired %    Figure 9. Agricultural Activities Polluting
                                                                                                       Rivers and Streams
     Resource Extraction                                                              48%
                                                                                             Specialty Crops              Manure Lagoons
     Agriculture                                                                      40%        (2.3%)                       (1.4%)
                                                                                            Irrigated Crops               Other (0.2%)
     Municipal Point Sources                                                          23%        (5.7%)                      Pastureland
                                                                                                 Feedlots                     (31.7%)
     Urban Runoff/Storm                                                                           (7.4%)
      Sewers/CSOs                                                  Major
     Hydrologic/Habitat                                            Not Specified      18%
                               0    5    10   15    20   25   30     35   40    45   50       (20.5%)
                                         Percent of Impaired River Miles                                      Nonirrigated Crops

discharges are most common in                 State’s 1992 Section 305(b) report,          miles of rivers and streams desig-
the Scioto, Little Miami, and Great           but contact recreation data were             nated for contact recreation use.
Miami watersheds within the State             not available for the remaining six          Almost three-fourths of the streams
of Ohio.                                      States. ORSANCO and TVA com-                 assessed fully support contact
                                              bined primary contact recreation             recreation use (Figure 11). In addi-
Contact Recreation Use                        (i.e., swimming) and secondary               tion, 5% of the stream miles fully
                                              contact recreation (activities that          support contact recreation use but
Support                                       involve occasional contact with the          are threatened.
    Seven of the 14 States within             water, such as boating) into a sin-               Only four States and
the Ohio and Tennessee River basin            gle assessment because only one              ORSANCO reported the most
assessed contact recreation use               State reported separate information          significant pollutants and sources
support for rivers and streams in             about secondary contact recreation           of pollution preventing their
their 1994 Section 305(b) reports.            use.                                         streams from fully supporting
ORSANCO and TVA extracted con-                      The Ohio and Tennessee River           water contact recreation. Bacteria
tact recreation data from another             basin States assessed over 44,000            are clearly the most significant pol-
                                                                                           lutant impairing contact recreation
 Figure 10. Major Sources of Pollutants – Ohio and Tennessee River Basin                   use in streams and are responsible
                                                                                           for 86% of the stream miles
                                                                                           impaired for this use. Urban

                                                                                            Figure 11. Levels of Primary Contact
                                                                                                       Recreation (Swimming)
                                                                                                       Use Support – Rivers

                                                                                                        (Fully Supporting)


                                                                                                        (Partially Supporting)

                                                                                                        (Not Supporting)

                                                                No Impairment
                                                                Resource Extraction
                                                                Agriculture                             (Not Attainable)
                                                                Municipal Point Sources                 0%
                                                                Industrial Point Sources
                                                                Other                      Source: Based on 1994 State Section 305(b)
                                                                Insufficient Data                  reports.

     runoff/storm sewers and combined        pollutant and source information.        Fish Consumption Use
     sewer overflows are the leading         The minimal data available indicate
     sources of pollutants impairing         that pesticides are the most signifi-
     contact recreation use (Figure 12).     cant pollutants, followed by priori-         Only three States within the
                                             ty organics, siltation, nutrients,       Ohio and Tennessee River basin
     Drinking Water Supply                   other habitat alterations, and sus-      assessed fish consumption use sup-
                                             pended solids. Agricultural runoff       port in their 1994 305(b) reports;
     Use Support                             was reported as the most common          however, information about fish
          The States provided minimal        source of pollutants, followed by        consumption advisories was avail-
     information about support of drink-     ground water loadings, channeliza-       able for each State. States issue
     ing water supply use. Six of the        tion, and resource extraction.           advisories to protect the public
     fourteen States in the Ohio and
     Tennessee River basin assessed
     drinking water supply use support
     in just 2% of the river miles in the                      Where Are Lakes, Wetlands,
     basin. ORSANCO and TVA acquired
     data from a 1992 Section 305(b)                              and Ground Water?
     report for one additional State, but          Except for a short discussion on lakes in the Allegheny River
     data about drinking water supply         subbasin, this report does not describe water quality conditions in lakes,
     use support were not available for       wetlands, or ground water. The States report less information about
     the remaining seven States. Due to       these waters because lakes, wetlands, and ground water aquifers present
     the limited amount of information        greater water quality monitoring challenges than rivers and streams.
     available, ORSANCO and TVA               Lakes and aquifers have much larger horizontal and vertical water quality
     could not prepare a basinwide            variations than do streams. The variation makes it difficult to ensure that
     summary of drinking water use            samples really reflect conditions throughout the lake or aquifer. Lakes
     status; however, the available data      and aquifers also respond to environmental stresses differently than
     are summarized here.                     streams and in different time frames. Even when high-quality data are
          Nearly three-fourths of the         available, there is less agreement on whether they are the right data and
     assessed stream reaches fully sup-       on how they should be interpreted.
     port drinking water supply use,               In lakes, factors such as lake shape, lake basin shape, average and
     with an additional 5% classified as      maximum depths, flushing rate, and inflow quality profoundly affect
     fully supporting but threatened          conditions for aquatic life. Reservoirs (lakes formed by damming rivers or
     (Figure 13). Fifteen percent of the      streams) are even more complicated because they sometimes behave as
     assessed streams partially support       natural lakes, while at other times or at other locations in the lake, they
     drinking water supply use, and 7%        act more like rivers.
     do not support the use.                       Because of the complexities, EPA and the States have not yet devel-
          Even less information was avail-    oped clear guidelines for lakes, specifically, what variables to monitor for
     able in the States’ Section 305(b)       particular objectives or how best to analyze and present the results. An
     reports regarding the pollutants         EPA workgroup composed of representatives from universities, States,
     impacting drinking water supply          and Federal agencies is currently working on these issues. Recommen-
     uses or their sources. Only two          dations from this group will help guide future lake monitoring programs
     States and ORSANCO provided              and will help make different organizations’ assessments of use support
                                              more comparable. Other interagency groups are working on recommen-
                                              dations for ground water and wetlands monitoring and assessment
                                              protocols. Future versions of this report should summarize lake, ground
                                              water, and wetlands information using these assessment guidelines.

Figure 12. Contact Recreation Use Support: Percentage of Pollutants and Their Sources      from consuming unsafe quantities
                      pH (7.0%)                  Other (7.0%)
                                                                                           of contaminated fish caught in cer-
                                                                       Municipal (10%)     tain waters. States issue advisories if
                            Siltation (5.0%)
                                Other (2.0%)                                 Agriculture   monitoring data indicate that con-
                                                                               (20%)       centrations of toxic contaminants
                                                                                           in fish tissue samples exceed State
                                                                                           and Federal criteria. The criteria for
                                                                                           issuing advisories may vary from
                                                                                           State to State. Therefore, neighbor-
                                                                                           ing States may issue different advi-
                                        Urban Runoff/
                                     Storm Sewers/CSOs
                                                                                           sories for interstate waters that flow
                                           (38%)                                           between them, which can confuse
  Bacterial Contaminants –                                     Land Disposal –             the public.
         Pathogens                                    Septic Tanks, Package Plants, etc.
            (86%)                                                   (25%)                       Figure 14 illustrates the distri-
                                                                                           bution of fish consumption advi-
     Percent of Stream Miles                      Percent of Stream Miles
     Impaired by Pollutants                     Impaired by Pollutant Sources              sories across the basin. Each circled
                                                                                           number in Figure 14 represents a
                                                                                           specific advisory. More specific
                                                                                           information on each advisory is

                   Why Monitor? Why Report?
     Water quality monitoring is technically demanding and expensive.                       Figure 13. Levels of Drinking Water
Furthermore, ideas about what indicators should be monitored and how                                   Supply Use Support – Rivers
to interpret the results continue to change. So why should we invest                                    Good
public funds in monitoring, and who wants the information that is                                       (Fully Supporting)
produced?                                                                                               73%
     The Intergovernmental Task Force on Monitoring Water Quality
(ITFM) defined monitoring as “. . . an integrated activity for evaluating
the physical, chemical, and biological character of water in relation to                                Good
human health, ecological conditions, and designated water uses.” It
went on to say that monitoring “. . . is a means for understanding the
condition of water resources and providing a basis for effective policies
that promote the wise use and management of this vital resource”                                        Fair
(ITFM, 1992).                                                                                           (Partially Supporting)
     This link with resource management policies is why water quality                                   15%
monitoring is important. Monitoring provides information that helps set
policies and programs to protect and improve the quality of our Nation’s                                Poor
streams, rivers, and lakes. It provides a basis for prioritizing needs so lim-                          (Not Supporting)
ited funds can be effectively allocated to improve conditions. Monitoring                               7%
also provides the basis both for determining whether those policies and
programs actually result in measurable environmental improvements,
and for changing policies and programs to increase their effectiveness.                                 (Not Attainable)
Because funding required for water quality protection and improvement                                   0%
is large, and because protection and improvement activities can have
profound implications to private citizens, water quality monitoring is a
                                                                                           Source: Based on 1994 State Section 305(b)
sound investment to guide development and ensure effectiveness of                                  reports.
water quality policies and programs.

     Figure 14. Fish Consumption Advisories – Ohio and Tennessee River Basin

                                                                                                                  21 22 17 1     2
                                                                                                                        19     7
                                                                                                                  23 24      8
                                                                                                                             1 4
                                                                  39                          25                        17
                                                                     40                                                      11 5 6 3
                                                   41                                                                      12
                                                         46        45                                                  17
                              59               43                                                                          12
                                         42             47                     27
                                                                             38 28                     25
                                                                                  18                   26        17
                                                                                17                                12
                                                                   49                        17        29
                                    44              50 51                    37 31                     17 17 12 13
                                                   52 53                                                        15 16
                                                                                                  31 31
                                                   54 55
                                              56                   37 31

                                       57                     37
                                      37 37
                              36                                        32
                            31                     34                                                             60
                                                                  33                                               62
                                                                                                  63        61

                                                                                                     69 71
                                                                                             66 67
                                                                                     64 65             68   75
                                                                  74           73

                                                        76 78
                                                             77                                      Fish Consumption Advisory – One Species of Fish

                                                                                                     Fish Consumption Advisory – Multiple Species of Fish

                                                                                             Specific information for each numbered advisory
                                                                                             is provided in Appendix A.

 Source: EPA National Listing of Fish Consumption Advisories, September 1994.

provided in Appendix A. Currently,            Mining and manufacturing are               include petroleum and coal, rubber
78 advisories are in effect in the       the major economic activities with-             and plastic products, stone and
Ohio and Tennessee River basin.          in the subbasin, followed by                    clay products, primary and fabricat-
Twenty-seven advisories restrict the     agriculture and forestry. Coal, oil,            ed metals, leather and apparel, and
consumption of all fish species;         natural gas, sand, gravel, lime-                electrical and other machinery. In
19 restrict consumption of one fish      stone, sandstone, clay, and shale               the southern portion of the sub-
species. Carp and catfish are the        are extracted from the subbasin.                basin, a chain of industrial river
subject of more advisories than any      Principal manufacturing products                valleys and mining towns wind
other fish species; 70 advisories
restrict consumption of carp and/or       Figure 15. Allegheny River Basin
catfish. The most common pollut-
ants responsible for fish consump-
tion advisories are PCBs and chlor-
dane. Metals (particularly mercury),
dioxin, and other pollutants                                                                              New York
account for the remainder of the
advisories. Several advisories have                                 Chautauqua                Allegheny River
been issued for combinations of                                        Lake
two or more contaminants.
The Allegheny River                                              Conewango

Subbasin                                                           Creek
                                                                                                                Upper Allegheny
Background                                                     Oil Creek
     The Allegheny River drains just                                                      Clarion
over 11,500 square miles of the                       Creek
headwaters of the Ohio River basin
in the States of New York and
Pennsylvania (Figure 15). It con-
tains about 14,000 stream miles, of
which 10,162 miles are classified as                                                                  Central Allegheny
perennial. The Allegheny River orig-                                               Creek
inates in the mountains of north-
central Pennsylvania, then flows
northwest into New York, turns                                                Allegheny
southwest, and reenters Pennsyl-                                                 River
vania. From its headwaters, the
Allegheny flows 325 miles to its                                               Kiskiminetas River
mouth in Pittsburgh, where it joins                                                            Conemaugh
with the Monongahela River to                                                                     River
form the Ohio River. Major tribu-                                                                               Lower Allegheny
taries include the Kiskiminetas River,
Conemaugh River, Clarion River,
Conewango Creek, and French

 westward toward Pittsburgh, the                      Differences in State assessment cri-
 industrial heart of the subbasin.                    teria can have dramatic effects on
 Due to the decline of the coal                       interstate water quality assess-
 industry and the mechanization of                    ments. Based on different criteria,
 mines and steel mills, unemploy-                     each State may assign different use
 ment is a significant problem in                     support ratings to streams with
 these areas.                                         very similar water quality. As a
                                                      result, a stream that crosses the
 State Assessment                                     State border may fully support uses
                                                      in Pennsylvania and partially sup-
 Techniques                                           port uses after it flows into New
      New York and Pennsylvania use                   York, even though water quality
 different terms and assessment                       data are the same on both sides of
 methods to rate use support status                   the State border. EPA is working
 in their rivers and streams. Pennsyl-                with the States to address inconsis-
 vania rates its waters as either fully               tent assessment criteria (see Special
 supporting, partially supporting, or                 State Concerns and Recommenda-

 not supporting designated uses.                      tions).
 New York rates its waters as threat-
 ened, stressed, impaired, or pre-                    Aquatic Life Use
 cluded.* To consolidate the data
 from the two States, ORSANCO                              Over 6,600 miles (65%) of                             individual watersheds in the
 and TVA assumed that “threat-                        perennial rivers and streams in the                        Allegheny River subbasin (Figure
 ened” waters in New York are                         Allegheny River subbasin were                              16) using the same criteria devel-
 comparable to “fully supporting”                     assessed for the 1994 305(b)                               oped for ranking watersheds basin-
 waters in Pennsylvania, “stressed”                   reporting cycle. Of the streams that                       wide in Figure 4. One feature that
 and “impaired” waters are compa-                     were assessed, 72% (3,851 miles)                           clearly stands out is the sharp
 rable to “partially supporting”                      fully support aquatic life use, 12%                        contrast between aquatic life use
 waters, and “precluded” waters                       (660 miles) partially support                              support ratings in watersheds that
 are comparable to “not support-                      aquatic life use, and 15% (820                             straddle the border between
 ing” waters (Table 1).                               miles) do not support aquatic life                         Pennsylvania and New York. In
      New York and Pennsylvania                       use.                                                       New York, most of the border
 also use different criteria for inter-                    ORSANCO and TVA also rated                            watersheds have an intermediate
 preting water quality data.                          aquatic life use support status in                         aquatic life use support rating. In
                                                                                                                 contrast, the same watersheds have
                                                                                                                 the best rating on the Pennsylvania
     Table 1. Equivalent Use Support Ratings in New York and Pennsylvania
                                                                                                                 side of the border. This State line
               New York Ratings                                 Pennsylvania Ratings                             fault is most likely due to differ-
                                                                                                                 ences in State water quality assess-
                   Threatened                                    Fully Supporting
                                                                                                                 ment criteria rather than real differ-
                   Stressed                                      Partially Supporting                            ences in water quality.
                   Impaired                                      Partially Supporting                                 Within Pennsylvania, the
                                                                                                                 streams with the best aquatic life
                   Precluded                                     Not Supporting
                                                                                                                 use support ratings are located in

     * According to New York’s terminology, threatened streams fully support designated uses but could become impaired in the future due to
      existing activities. Impaired stream segments partially support one or more uses, and stressed streams are intermittently impaired. Precluded
      streams do not support one or more uses.

the upper Allegheny River and                 noted that the depiction of the
French Creek watersheds. The                  New York portion of the French
Clarion River and middle Allegheny            Creek watershed as having the
River watersheds are slightly more            lowest degree of use support is
impaired, while the lower Alle-               primarily due to differences in the
gheny River watershed, including              States’ use support ratings and the
the Conemaugh and Kiskiminetas                problems that follow when trying
Rivers, is the most impaired water-           to compare separate sections of an
shed in the subbasin. It should be            interstate watershed.

 Figure 16. Allegheny River Subbasin – Aquatic Life Use

                                                                 New York

                                                                                                     Approximately 56% of the assessed
                                                                                                     stream miles in the French Creek
                                                                                                     watershed were identified as
                                                                                                     “stressed” by New York, which, for
                                                                  Upper Allegheny                    the purposes of this report, were
                                                                                                     assumed to be equivalent to “par-
                                                                                                     tially supporting” streams (the use
                                                                                                     designation utilized by
                                                              Pennsylvania                           Pennsylvania). However, if the use
                                                                                                     support ratings were further
                                                                                                     defined, the “stressed” stream
                                                                                                     miles could be classified as having
                                                          Central Allegheny
                                                                                                     only minor partial impairment,
                                                                                                     which would most likely result in a
                                                                     Best Water Quality              better use support rating for the
                                                                     Worst Water Quality
                                                                     Streams                         Pollutants and Their
                                                                                                         Both States identified specific
                                                                                                     pollutants and sources of pollutants
                                                                Lower Allegheny                      impairing rivers and streams. Figure
                                                                                                     17 presents the percentage of
                                                                                                     stream miles impaired by particular
                                                                                                     pollutants in four portions of the
                                                                                                     Allegheny River subbasin, each
                                                                                                     comprised of several watersheds.
                                                                                                     Metals are the major pollutant of

 concern in the Pennsylvania                      impacted less than 5% of the                  the subbasin, which impacts 202
 portion of the subbasin, and sus-                impaired rivers and streams.                  miles) and hydrologic/habitat mod-
 pended solids are the most com-                       By far, resource extraction is           ifications (impacting 157 miles).
 mon pollutant identified in the                  the largest source of pollution in
 New York portion of the subbasin.                the Allegheny River subbasin                  Additional Stream Uses
 New York reported that suspended                 (Figure 18). Throughout the sub-
 solids impact over three-fourths of              basin, resource extraction impacts                  ORSANCO and TVA could not
 the rivers and streams impaired by               over 900 miles of streams, nearly             rate the status of contact recreation
 identified pollutants. Throughout                all of which are located in                   use and drinking water use in the
 the entire Allegheny River subbasin,             Pennsylvania. Of these, 775 miles             Allegheny River subbasin because
 metals are the most common pol-                  are impacted by acid mine drain-              Pennsylvania did not report the sta-
 lutant (impacting 598 stream                     age. Other significant sources of             tus of these individual uses in its
 miles), followed closely by siltation            pollution in the subbasin include             Section 305(b) report. New York
 and suspended solids (impacting                  agriculture (the major pollutant              assessed contact recreation and
 547 miles). Other pollutants                     source in the New York portion of             drinking water use support state-
                                                                                                wide, but in the Allegheny River
                                                                                                subbasin, New York’s assessed
     Figure 17. Pollutants of Concern in Impaired Streams – Allegheny River Basin
                                                                                                waters included only 42 miles of
                                                                                                Conewango Creek (fully supporting
       Other Inorganics                                                                         contact recreation use) and 7.5
 Suspended Solids                                 Suspended Solids                              miles of the Allegheny River (par-
     (9.1%)                          Metals            (16%)                         Metals     tially supporting drinking water
   Organic                           (39%)                                           (53%)      supply use).
 Enrichment/                                           pH
      DO                                             (12%)
   (6.1%)                                                                                       Fish Consumption
                                                  Inorganics                                         The only fish consumption
                                                                Other                           advisory in the Allegheny River sub-
                  (38%)                                        (8.5%)                           basin advises the public to avoid
                                                                                                consumption of carp and channel
          Upper Allegheny Basin – PA                    Central Allegheny Basin – PA            catfish in the lower 14.5 miles of
             130 Miles Impaired                             440 Miles Impaired
                                                                                                the Allegheny River (in Pennsyl-
                                                                                                vania) due to contamination by
                                                    Organic   (2.6%)
                                                                                                PCBs and chlordane.
 Suspended Solids                               Enrichment/DO                       Suspended
      (26%)                          Metals
                                                     (7.9%)                           Solids
                                                   Other                             (78.5%)    Lake Water Quality
                                                  (1.7%)                                        Assessments
         pH                                    Modifications                                         The Allegheny River subbasin
      (3.2%)                                     (9.2%)                                         contains 665 lakes and reservoirs
      Natural                                                                                   covering a total surface area of
                                                                                                53,212 acres. Only five of these
                Other                                                                           lakes are larger than 1,000 acres.
                (15%)                                                                           Six lakes in the subbasin do not
          Lower Allegheny Basin – PA                     Allegheny River Basin – NY             fully support designated uses.
             583 Miles Impaired                              339 Miles Impaired                 Nutrients impact five lakes in New

York (totaling 631 acres), and                                 New York and Pennsylvania                as oligotrophic (very clear and
Pennsylvania classified Tamarack                         used Carlson’s Trophic State Index             nutrient poor), mesotrophic
Lake (556 acres) as eutrophic. Eight                     to rate the trophic status of 24               (moderate clarity and nutrient
other lakes, covering nearly 17,000                      lakes in the Allegheny River sub-              content), or eutrophic (relatively
acres, are classified as threatened                      basin (Table 2). Carlson’s Trophic             murky and nutrient rich). Many
(by Pennsylvania) or stressed (by                        State Index is based on phospho-               eutrophic lakes are naturally nutri-
New York), including Chautauqua                          rus, chlorophyll, and water clarity            ent rich and support healthy fish
Lake (13,400 acres) and Beaver Run                       (i.e., secchi disk) data. Carlson’s            communities, but eutrophic condi-
Reservoir (1,125 acres).                                 Trophic State Index classifies lakes           tions may indicate that a lake is
                                                                                                        receiving an overdose of nutrients
                                                                                                        from unnatural sources.
 Figure 18. Sources of Pollution in Impaired Streams – Allegheny River Subbasin
                                                                                                             Pennsylvania classified eight
                                                                                   Unknown              lakes as eutrophic and eight lakes
                                                                Agriculture         (1.3%)              as mesotrophic, including Kinzua
            Unknown                                              (10.4%)
                                       Resource                                             Resource    Lake (12,100 acres). New York
                                      Extraction              Natural                      Extraction
 Agriculture                           (59.2%)                                              (77.2%)     rated three lakes as mesotrophic
                                                           Other                                        and five lakes as eutrophic, includ-
                                                          (3.1%)                                        ing Chautauqua Lake. None of the
                                                       Industrial                                       lakes in the subbasin were classified
                                                        (1.7%)                                          as oligotrophic.
   (6.1%)                                                                                                    As of 1995, EPA had sponsored
     Industrial                                                                                         studies on two lakes in the
      (6.5%)                                                                                            Allegheny River subbasin,
                                                                                                        Chautauqua Lake in New York and
     Upper Allegheny Subbasin – PA                            Central Allegheny Subbasin – PA           Conneaut Lake in Pennsylvania. An
          130 Miles Impaired                                        440 Miles Impaired                  ongoing study on Chautauqua
                                                                                                        Lake, the largest lake in the sub-
                   (2.2%)                                                                               basin, is identifying pollutant
  Urban Runoff                  Natural
                                (3.0%)                           Silviculture                           sources and evaluating lake protec-
                                           Resource               (10.0%)                 Agriculture   tion options. Weed growth and
Land Disposal
   (2.1%)                                 Extraction                                       (37.4%)      algal blooms in Chautauqua Lake
                                           (81.3%)                                                      are the greatest concerns, while
 (9.1%)                                                                                                 construction impacts have also
                                                                                                        been high due to the intensive
                                                                                                        development in the area. Conneaut
                                                                                                        Lake once was a popular tourist
                                                 Hydrologic/Habitat                            Other
                                                   Modifications                                        attraction but now has nuisance
                                                                                                        levels of aquatic weeds and severe
                                                                    Construction          Extraction    oxygen depletion. A study in
                                                                      (5.2%)                (3.3%)      progress for Conneaut Lake is
     Lower Allegheny Subbasin – PA                            Allegheny River Subbasin – NY
                                                                                                        determining pollutant budgets for
          583 Miles Impaired                                       349 Miles Impaired                   phosphorus, nitrogen, and sus-
                                                                                                        pended solids to help in drafting a
                                                                                                        management plan.

     Special State                                1. The need for coordinated
                                             efforts to address nonpoint
                                                                                         2. A coordinated framework
                                                                                    for ground water protection.
     Concerns and                            sources of pollution.                       A number of Federal and State
     Recommendations                              States noted the complexities     agencies have authority and
                                             of controlling pollution that origi-   responsibility for ground water pro-
          Ten States reported special        nates from numerous diverse            tection. To coordinate their efforts,
     water quality concerns and/or rec-      sources, each of which contributes     several States are developing
     ommendations for improving water        a small amount of pollution.           ground water management strate-
     pollution control programs in their     Coordination among different           gies that set forth overall objectives
     Section 305(b) reports. The follow-     agencies and the different layers      and principles and define each
     ing five issues were listed by three    within government agencies—            agency’s role.
     or more States; some of the issues      Federal, State, local, and regional—
     are especially relevant to the Ohio     is critical to avoid duplication of          3. Pollution from resource
     and Tennessee River basin, but all      efforts and conflict among pro-        extraction.
     five issues are applicable to water     grams. Agencies need to consider             In the 1994 National Water
     quality assessments at the State,       the effects of waste generation and    Quality Inventory Report to
     watershed, basin, or national level.    disposal on the total environment      Congress, the 14 Ohio and Tennes-
                                             in their regulatory decisions.         see River basin States accounted for
                                                                                    almost half of the river miles
                                                                                    reported as impaired due to
     Table 2. Trophic Status of Allegheny River Subbasin Lakes                      resource extraction. Most of the
                  Mesotrophic                              Eutrophic                impairment was attributed to mine
                                                                                    drainage, while a much smaller
      Lake                          Acres    Lake                         Acres
                                                                                    portion was related to oil and gas
      Conneaut Lake (PA)             929     Bear Lake (NY)                  44     drilling. The States note that inade-
                                                                                    quate funding to address pollution
      Cuba Lake (NY)                 184     Beaver Run Reservoir (PA)    1,125
                                                                                    from abandoned mines is a special
      Hemlock Lake (PA)               NR     Canadohta Lake (PA)           170      concern.
      Justus Lake (PA)                NR     Cassadaga Lake, Lower (NY)      34
                                                                                         4. Human health criteria.
      Keystone Lake                  880     Cassadaga Lake, Upper (NY)      41          Several States raised concerns
      (Westmoreland County, PA)                                                     about criteria to protect human
      Keystone Lake                   78     Chautauqua Lake, North (NY) 5,434      health from contamination in water
      (Armstrong County, PA)                                                        and fish. These States identified a
      Kinzua Lake (PA portion)     12,100    Edinboro Lake (PA)            240      need to establish criteria for addi-
                                                                                    tional harmful substances and addi-
      Quaker Lake (NY)                92     Findley Lake (NY)             124
                                                                                    tional guidance on the use of crite-
      Quemahoning Reservoir (PA)     900     Hinckston Reservoir (PA)       NR      ria. The States are particularly con-
      Red House Lake (NY)             44     Loyalhanna Reservoir (PA)     210      cerned that changing to risk-level-
                                                                                    based criteria will result in many
      Saltlick Reservoir (PA)         NR     North Park Lake (PA)            75
                                                                                    new locations being classified as
                                             Tamarack Lake (PA)            556      impaired for fish consumption or
                                             Yellow Creek Lake (PA)        740      water supply use.
     NR = Not reported.

    5. Watershed planning and           Assessment by                            conditions, however, is difficult to
management.                                                                      justify. At a minimum, States
    Several States reported on their
                                        Watershed                                should assess waters that serve as
own initiatives toward watershed-           Some States present their            sources for public supplies. To
based pollution abatement               assessments on a statewide basis,        improve reporting of fish consump-
programs. The States expressed          some provide summaries by large          tion use support status, EPA should
concern that a transition to a          watersheds, and others present           request that the States identify the
watershed approach might disrupt        information for individual streams.      watershed in which each advisory
or delay current programs. The          To facilitate reporting on an inter-     occurs. EPA already requests that
States consistently requested that      state basis, States need to report       each State submit a list of fish con-
EPA provide incentives for States to    their information at a consistent        sumption advisories, but EPA does
adopt watershed-based                   level of watershed units. Water-         not currently request watershed
approaches.                             sheds identified by USGS 8-digit         identification with this information.
                                        HUCs should be the minimum
Recommendations                         reporting units. States may choose       Causes and Sources of Use
                                        to aggregate their information by        Impairment
for Reporting from                      smaller watershed units (i.e., 11-
                                                                                      Most States report causes and
a Basinwide Assess-                     digit HUC codes), or they may, in
                                                                                 sources of use impairment, but
                                        some instances, combine adjacent
ment Perspective                        units where necessary for their own      many do so only on an overall
                                        reporting purposes.                      basis; most do not identify the indi-
     Inconsistencies in the States’                                              vidual use impaired by a cause or
305(b) information presented                                                     source. Some States report the
obstacles to developing this water      Assessment of All
                                                                                 total waters impaired by causes
quality assessment of a large, inter-   Designated Uses
                                                                                 and sources statewide and do not
state basin. The inconsistencies             Many States assess only aquatic     identify the size of waters impaired
included the geographic bases of        life use support; others report a sin-   by causes and sources in individual
the assessments, the designated         gle, overall use support assessment      watersheds. Most States cannot
uses assessed, the identification of    that is usually based on aquatic life    identify the causes and sources
causes and sources of use impair-       use support status. Since the goal       responsible for degrading all of
ment, and the assessment method-        of the Clean Water Act is for all        their impaired waters. These incon-
ologies themselves. State-to-State      waters to support aquatic life and       sistencies seriously compromise any
differences in assessment methods,      recreation, each State should at         effort to report such information
interpretation, and reporting must      least address both of these uses.        on a multistate basis. EPA’s 305(b)
be reduced if information in future     The lack of information on water         Consistency Workgroup should
Section 305(b) reports is to be         supply use support probably results      address these issues and develop
aggregated into large regional or       from a historic separation of pro-       appropriate recommendations.
interstate basin assessments of         grams that address water supply
water quality conditions. The fol-      issues and water pollution control.
lowing section describes several        The absence of such information
recommendations to address these        in a report on water quality

 Consistent Assessment                    assessments primarily on biological     Initiating Watershed
 Methodologies                            survey results while others use only    Assessments
                                          physical and chemical data. Studies
      Assessments of lakes, ground        have shown that biological moni-             All of the difficulties and incon-
 water, and wetlands were extreme-        toring data often detect more           sistencies described above can be
 ly inconsistent among the 14 States      water quality impairments than          overcome if they are addressed
 that share the Ohio and Tennessee        chemical and physical monitoring        early in the assessment process.
 River basin. EPA’s guidelines for        data alone. In addition, States can     Where river basin organizations
 preparing the Section 305(b)             arrive at different use support         exist, they are ideally suited to take
 reports are less precise for lakes,      ratings if some States monitor dis-     a lead role in coordinating inter-
 wetlands, and ground water than          solved metals concentrations while      state watershed assessments. The
 for rivers and streams; as a result,     others continue to measure total        process used by ORSANCO to
 States have developed their own          recoverable metal concentrations.       prepare a Section 305(b) report for
 approaches for assessing these           Even if neighboring States monitor      the Ohio River mainstem on behalf
 waters. If interstate basins are to be   comparable indicators and use sim-      of six States might serve as an
 a basis for reporting in future          ilar criteria, they may be evaluating   example. Preparation for the Ohio
 national water quality summaries, it     information collected in different      River assessment begins 7 months
 will be necessary to fine-tune           years.                                  prior to the April due date for the
 reporting requirements for lakes,             Contact recreation use is          report. A proposed outline of the
 wetlands, and ground water.              assessed primarily on the basis of      assessment, including descriptions
      Even though the assessment          bacteria levels, but the States base    of the methodologies to be used, is
 methods for rivers and streams are       their recreation use support ratings    distributed to the States and is dis-
 clearly specified in the 305(b)          on a variety of indicator bacteria.     cussed in one or more teleconfer-
 guidelines, this report shows that       Some States have adopted criteria       ences. A preliminary draft is distrib-
 there are differences in how the         for E. coli and/or Enterococcus         uted approximately 3 months
 States interpret and apply the           while others continue to monitor        before the due date and, if com-
 guidelines. This was noted in the        fecal coliforms. Support of public      ments warrant, is discussed in
 section on the Allegheny River sub-      water supply use is subject to          another teleconference.
 basin where waters of similar quali-     greater inconsistencies. For water           For watersheds where an inter-
 ty conditions received very different    supply utilities, the parameters        state river basin agency does not
 assessments by the States of New         regulated under the Federal Safe        exist, it may be necessary for the
 York and Pennsylvania. It also was       Drinking Water Act are most             EPA Region to take the lead role in
 apparent in several other instances      important. Many of those parame-        coordinating the States’ assess-
 where abrupt changes in the level        ters are not specifically regulated     ments. Regardless of who assumes
 of use support appeared to occur         under the Clean Water Act and are       the lead role, coordination early in
 at State lines.                          not routinely monitored by State        the process will result in more con-
      States arrive at different use      water quality agencies.                 sistent and comprehensive assess-
 support ratings because the States            EPA’s 305(b) Consistency           ments.
 monitor different water quality indi-    Workgroup has addressed several
 cators and use different use support     of these issues in the 305(b) guide-
 criteria. For example, some States       lines for the 1996 report cycle.
 base their aquatic life use support


Description: What River Forms the Border Between Indiana And document sample