Wednesday To-Do: ADEQ to Hold Public Hearing on Impaired Waterbodies List

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) will hold a public hearing today, February 24, 2010, to receive comments on the agency’s proposed 2010 Impaired Waterbodies List (commonly called the 303d List). The hearing will begin at 2 p.m. in the Commission Room at the ADEQ headquarters building at 5301 Northshore Drive in North Little Rock.

Prior to accepting formal public comments at the hearing, ADEQ Water Division staff will present a short program discussing the proposed list. The presentation will include time for informal discussion and questions and answers before the formal public comment period begins.

The 303d List is developed by ADEQ every two years under provisions of Section 303d of the Federal Clean Water Act. ADEQ assesses water quality monitoring data from numerous locations around the state and utilizes a comprehensive assessment methodology to determine which waters are not meeting their designated uses as listed in the Arkansas Water Quality Standards.

Water quality data from stream and lake sampling sites were considered during the development of the proposed 2010 303d List. These sampling stations were either part of ADEQ’s statewide water quality monitoring network, special surveys conducted by ADEQ, or sites sampled by U.S. National Park Service within the Buffalo River Watershed.

Other water quality data from federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as from private entities, both within Arkansas and from adjoining states, were also evaluated during development of the proposed list.

A complete listing of impaired waterbodies can be found in the tables following the narrative of the draft 303d List. Copies of the list are available on the ADEQ’s website at http://www.adeq.state.ar.us or can be obtained by contacting Jim Wise in the ADEQ Water Division at (501)682-0663 or wise@adeq.state.ar.us.

Oral and written comments on the proposed 2010 303d List will be accepted at the public hearing, but written statements are preferred in the interest of accuracy. In addition, written statements will be considered if received no later than 4:30 p.m., March 10, 2010. Written statements should be sent to: Jim Wise, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, Water Division, 5301 Northshore Drive, North Little Rock, AR 72118, or by emailing wise@adeq.state.ar.us.

Proposed revisions to the 2010 Arkansas 303d List will be incorporated into the 2010 Arkansas Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report (commonly called the 305b Report), after approval by the ADEQ Director and the Region 6 Office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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