Changes Coming for WV, PA Water Quality Guidelines



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In Pennsylvania, amendments to new regulations limiting the discharge of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) into Pennsylvania waterways are moving forward. As drafted, these proposed regulations limit wastewater discharges from new and expanded facilities to a concentration threshold of 2,000 mg/l, and they specify that wastewater discharges which accept and treat wastewater generated from oil and gas drilling operations cannot exceed 500 mg/l. Another hurdle to final approval of this rules package was removed recently when the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee issued a letter to the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board, indicating that it had concluded its review of these proposed regulations without taking any formal action.

In West Virginia, amendments to the State's Water Quality Standards, 47 Code of State Rules, Series 2, are also moving forward. Among the proposed provisions are statewide standards for TDS of 500 mg/l across all industries with compliance to be measured on an in-stream basis. Also proposed are amendments to the State?s narrative water quality criteria, which make water withdrawals that result in a condition that "adversely alters the integrity of the waters of the State" a violation of the narrative criteria. West Virginia?s proposed amendments are still subject to public comment through July 19, 2010. Assuming the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection approves its draft proposals, the proposed rule will be introduced as part of the agency?s legislative rules package for consideration in January 2011.

Please feel free to contact Steptoe & Johnson PLLC with any questions regarding the rules or requests for assistance in filing comments.





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Charleston, WV