Comment Period On: Wadeable Streams/47 CSR 2B

From the WV Department of Environmental Protection
===========================================================
Public Notice

Division of Water and Waste Management

47 CSR 2B – Assessment Methodology for the Biological Component of the Narrative Criteria in Wadeable Streams

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Water and Waste Management has scheduled a public hearing on March 9, 2021 to receive comments on a new Procedural Rule, Assessment Methodology for the Biological Component of the Narrative Criteria in Wadeable Streams (47 CSR 2B). 

Previous versions of this rule were released for public comment (2019 and 2020) but neither version was finalized. 

The hearing will start at 6 p.m. on March 9, 2021 and will be held virtually via Zoom:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84064300054?pwd=R0VWdUtmQTIyanptb1M0WDIwOFRBQT09
Meeting ID: 840 6430 0054
Passcode: 381254
Dial by phone: (646) 558 8656

The comment period ends on March 11, 2021.

The purpose of this rule is to satisfy SB 562 and SB 687 by defining in rule the aquatic life component of the narrative water quality standard and its thresholds. 

In 2012, Senate Bill 562 passed, directing the WVDEP to propose rules that define compliance with the aquatic life component of West Virginia’s narrative water quality standard based on the holistic health of the aquatic ecosystem including fish. SB 687 made a slight change to this in 2017.

To satisfy the rule making requirement, this procedural rule describes an approach that is based on the same tools that have been in use for over 18 years. 

This approach relies on benthic macroinvertebrates using the West Virginia Stream Condition Index (WVSCI), a family-level assessment tool that scores aquatic communities on a 0 – 100-point scale. The rule establishes a single sample impairment threshold of 50 and an attainment threshold of 72. 

To read the proposed rule in its entirety, go online to:
http://apps.sos.wv.gov/adlaw/csr/ruleview.aspx?document=17375.

Additional information regarding the application of the rule can be found at: https://dep.wv.gov/WWE/watershed/bio_fish/Pages/Bio_Fish.aspx

In addition to oral comments provided at the public hearing, the agency will accept written comments up until COB on March 11, 2021. Written comments may be emailed to John.C.Wirts@wv.gov or mailed to the following address:

John Wirts
Watershed Assessment Branch, DWWM
WV Department of Environmental Protection
601 57th St. S.E.
Charleston, WV 25304

For more information call Terry Fletcher of the WVDEP Public Information Office at (304) 926-0499 x 49720.