HARRISBURG – Shannon Gority, executive director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) in Pennsylvania, said that an increase in the number of miles of impaired waters listed in the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Draft 2022 Integrated Water Quality Report sends a clear message that not enough is being done to clean and protect Commonwealth rivers and streams.
DEP’s latest biennial report lists 27,886 miles of Pennsylvania waters, 2,418 miles more than in its 2020 report, as being harmed by pollution.
The report found that 33 percent of Pennsylvania’s more than 85,000 miles of rivers and streams do not meet water quality standards for water supply, aquatic life, recreation, or fish consumption.
The top three major sources of water quality impairment identified in the 2022 report are: abandoned mine runoff, 7,356; agricultural runoff, 6,430; and stormwater runoff, 3,502 miles.
In response to DEP’s report, Shannon Gority said:
“That the latest report includes over 2,400 more miles of impaired rivers and streams than in 2020 is a sad reminder that Pennsylvania must accelerate its rate of installing practices that reduce pollution to local waters.
“It is time for our Commonwealth to accelerate implementation of its Clean Water Blueprint by providing the funds necessary to do more than plan.
“State and federal leaders need to follow-through on pending legislation that supports the many boots on the ground, landowners, and communities working hard every day to protect and restore local rivers and streams. They want to do more.
“Following through on the commitment to clean and protect our rivers and streams is vital to our health, economic well-being, and quality of life.”
Editor's Note: The Draft 2022 Integrated Water Quality Report can be found here.