Final TMDLs Approved by EPA: Lower Choptank River

The Lower Choptank River watershed spans about 22 km of coastline bounded upstream by Cambridge and downstream by the mouth of the Lower Choptank River.  The following waters are within the Lower Choptank River watershed: Jenkins Creek, San Domingo Creek, Tred Avon River, Tar Creek, Cummings Creek and Northeast Branch.  Jenkins Creek is located in Dorchester County, near the City of Cambridge, on the southern shoreline of the Lower Choptank River that directly drains to the Chesapeake Bay.  San Domingo Creek, Tred Avon River, Tar Creek, Cummings Creek, and Northeast Branch are located in Talbot County along the Lower Choptank River northeast shoreline.  Tred Avon River is located downstream from the City of Easton.  Shellfish waters in the Lower Choptank River Basin extend from Cambridge, Maryland to the mouth of the river where it discharges into the Chesapeake Bay. 

The Lower Choptank River (basin number 02130403) was first identified on the 1996 303(d) list submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) as being impaired by nutrients, suspended sediments and fecal coliform, with listings of biological impacts in non-tidal and tidal portions added in 2002 and 2004, respectively.  On the draft 2004 303(d) list, additional restricted shellfish harvesting areas were listed.  The report available below provides an analysis of recent monitoring data, which shows that the fecal coliform water quality criteria, determined from the designated use, is being met in Jenkins Creek and Cummings Creek within the Lower Choptank River Basin; therefore, TMDLs of fecal coliform are not necessary to achieve water quality standards in these two watersheds.  The document also establishes TMDLs of fecal coliform for four restricted shellfish harvesting areas in the Lower Choptank River Basin:  San Domingo Creek; Tred Avon River; Tar Creek; and Northeast Branch.  The nutrient, suspended sediment, biological, an any remaining fecal coliform impairments within the Lower Choptank River Basin will be addressed at a future date.    

Total Maximum Daily Loads and Water Quality Analyses of Fecal Coliform for Restricted Shellfish Harvesting Areas in the Lower Choptank River Basin in Talbot and Dorchester Counties, Maryland

(Approved on June 7, 2005)

EPA's Decision Letter

EPA's Decision Letter

Main Report TMDL_lowerchoptank_fc.pdf (6012KB)

Comment Response Document

CRD_lowerchoptank_fc.pdf (95KB)


Contact Information

Please direct questions or comments concerning this project to Maryland's TMDL Program at (410) 537-3818.