The Georges Creek Watershed encompasses 47,694 acres (75 square miles) in Allegany and Garrett Counties. The headwaters of Georges Creek begin in Frostburg, Maryland. The main stem of Georges Creek flows southwest until its confluence with the North Branch Potomac River below the Town of Westernport, Maryland. Several tributaries feed the main stem of Georges Creek including Elklick Run, Mill Run, Winebrenner Run, and Koontz Run. The drainage area for the watershed lies between Dans Mountain and Big Savage Mountain. Towns within the watershed area include: Frostburg, Midlothian, Midland, Lonaconing, Barton, Luke, and Westernport. Dans Mountain State Park and portions of the Savage River State Forest also lie within the Georges Creek Watershed.
The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has identified the waters of Georges Creek (basin number 02141004) on the State’s 303(d) List submitted to the EPA by MDE as impaired by sediments (1996), pH (1998), bacteria (2002), nutrients (1996), and portions of the basin for impacts to biological communities (2002) (MDE, 2006a). The designated use of Georges Creek is Use I-P (Water Contact Recreation, Protection of Aquatic Life and Public Water Supply) for the mainstem from the confluence with the North Branch Potomac River, and Use I (Water Contact Recreation and Protection of Aquatic Life) for the remainder of the mainstem and all other tributaries. This document proposes to establish a TMDL for sediments in the Georges Creek Watershed to allow for the attainment of the above mentioned designated uses. The objective of the sediment TMDL established in the document available below is to ensure that there will be no sediment impacts affecting aquatic health, when aquatic health is evaluated based on Maryland’s biocriteria, thereby establishing a sediment loading limit that supports the Use I/I-P designation for the Georges Creek Watershed. The watershed sediment load includes the potential effect for both water clarity and erosional/depositional impacts, thus accounting for all of the sediment impacts that indicate a sediment impairment per the Maryland 303(d) listing methodology.
A data solicitation for sediments was conducted by MDE, and all readily available data from the past five years have been considered. A TMDL for Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) to address the nutrients listing was approved by the EPA (2002) resulting in the removal of this listing. A TMDL for bacteria was submitted to the EPA (2006). The listings for low pH and impacts to biological communities will be addressed separately at a future date.
In conjunction with the renewal of the Vindex Energy Corporation permit renewal (NPDES#MD0066541) (May 2013), updates are being made to the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) of Sediment in the Georges Creek Watershed, Garrett and Allegany Counties, Maryland. To allow for easier revisions to the TMDL in the future, if needed, Sections 2.2.2 and 4.6 have been updated to remove the total number of permits in the watershed. Appendix B has been modified to incorporate corrected point source information in the Waste Load Allocation (WLA) calculations and to provide consistency with the approach applied for process water facilities within the Chesapeake Bay nutrient and sediment TMDLs. In this modification, only the individual WLAs to the facilities included within the total WLA and the manner in which this information is presented has changed; the overall WLA remains the same. The TMDL, Load Allocation (LA), and WLA remain the same.
Total Maximum Daily Load of Sediment in the Georges Creek Watershed, Garrett and Allegany County, Maryland(Approved on December 27, 2006)
Comment Response Document
Please direct questions or comments concerning this project to Maryland's TMDL Program at (410) 537-3818.
1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230