Final TMDL and WQA of Fecal Coliform for Lower Patuxent River 1

Final TMDLs Approved by EPA: Lower Patuxent River

The Patuxent River, which drains directly to the Chesapeake Bay, is located on Maryland’s western shore.  The following restricted shellfish harvesting waters are within the Lower Patuxent River Basin:  Island Creek, Battle Creek, Harper and Pearson Creeks, Goose Creek, Town Creek, Trent Hall Creek, St. Thomas Creek and Indian Creek.  Island Creek, Battle Creek, Harper and Pearson Creeks, and Goose Creek are located on the western shoreline of the Lower Patuxent River.  Town Creek, Trent Hall Creek, St. Thomas Creek, and Indian Creek are located along the Lower Patuxent River southwest shoreline.   Shellfish waters in the Patuxent River extend from Ferry Landing, which is south of Jug Bay, to the mouth of the river where it discharges into the Chesapeake Bay.

The Lower Patuxent River (basin number 02131101) was first identified on the 1996 303(d) list submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) as being impaired by nutrients and sediments, with listings of fecal coliform in the tidal portions added in 1998, and listings of toxics in the tidal portion and biological impacts in non-tidal portions added in 2002.   On the draft 2004 303(d) list, specific restricted shellfish harvesting areas were identified.  The document available below addresses the fecal coliform impairment listings of several restricted shellfish harvesting areas within the Lower Patuxent River Basin: Island Creek, Battle Creek, Harper and Pearson Creeks, Goose Creek, Town Creek, Trent Hall Creek, St. Thomas Creek, and Indian Creek. 

The report provides an analysis of recent monitoring data, which shows that the bacteria water quality criteria, determined from the designated use, is being met in Battle Creek within the Lower Patuxent River Basin; therefore, TMDLs of fecal coliform are not necessary to achieve water quality standards in this watershed.  Barring the receipt of any contradictory data, the report will be used to support the bacteria listing change for Battle Creek from Category 5 (“waterbodies impaired by one or more pollutants and requiring a TMDL”) to Category 6 (“waterbodies that have been de-listed or removed from the list”) when MDE proposes the revision of Maryland’s 303(d) list for public review in the future. 

The document also establishes TMDLs for Island Creek, Town Creek, Trent Hall Creek, St. Thomas Creek; Harper and Pearson Creeks; Goose Creek; and Indian Creek.  These restricted shellfish harvesting areas are impaired by levels of bacteria exceeding Maryland's water quality standards for fecal coliform, which has resulted in closure of the areas to shellfish harvesting.  Bacteria TMDLs were completed for Solomons Island Harbor, Washington and Persimmon Creeks, and Cuckold Creek in 2005.  A water quality analysis of bacteria for the Lower Patuxent Mainstem was conducted in 2006.  The nutrient, sediment, toxic, and biological impairments will be addressed at a future date.

 

Total Maximum Daily Loads for Island Creek, Town Creek, Trent Hall Creek, St. Thomas Creek, Harper and Pearson Creeks, Goose Creek and Indian Creek and a Water Quality Analysis for Battle Creek of Fecal Coliform For Restricted Shellfish Harvesting Areas in the Lower Patuxent River Basin in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties, Maryland

(Approved on May 25, 2005)

EPA's Decision Letter EPA's Decision Letter
Main Report TMDL_lowerpax1_fc.pdf (8020KB)

Comment Response Document

CRD_lowerpax1_fc.pdf (106KB)

Contact Information

Please direct questions or comments concerning this project to Maryland's TMDL Program at (410) 537-3572.