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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

DEP Decision On Susquehanna River May Be Driven By Other Factors

Pa. Fish and Boat Commission Clashes with DEP Over Susquehanna River

By Susan Phillips
State Impact
Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat Commission executive director John Arway says the Department of Environmental Protection needs to do more to protect aquatic life and water quality along 98 miles of the Susquehanna River. Arway takes aim at DEP Secretary Michael Krancer’s decision not to seek an “impaired” status for the river may not be driven by science, but rather “other factors.”

An “impaired” designation by the EPA could boost efforts to clean up the river.

Arway issued a statement on Tuesday in direct response to the Department of Environmental Protection’s announcement on Monday that there is no science to support the fact that the river should come under any special protections through the federal Clean Water Act. Every two years, the DEP reports on the health of the state’s waterways to federal regulators at the EPA. The Fish and Boat Commission had previously urged DEP to seek a listing of the river as “impaired” due to mysterious lesions on small mouth bass, and intersexing of fish.

In the statement released on Monday afternoon, DEP Secretary Michael Krancer promised to work with the Fish and Boat Commission, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, and the U.S. Geological Survey to study the health of the river’s aquatic life.

But Arway says these efforts “fall short” of what is needed, and says DEP has failed to disclose the scientific data that guided their decision. Read more...

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