Water Quality Analyses (WQA) with EPA Concurrence of MDE's Findings: Northeast River

The Northeast River watershed is located in the extreme reaches of the Maryland Portion of the upper Chesapeake Bay watershed.  It is located in Cecil County and is bounded by the Principio Creek watershed to the west and by the Elk River to the east.  Northeast River is tidal (fresh) as far north as the Town of North East, where the head of tide intersects the fall line at the confluence of two major streams, the Northeast Creek and the Little Northeast Creek.  The fall line intersects most of the central watershed, transversing both the Northeast Creek to the west, and Little Northeast Creek just to the east.

Northeast River (basin code 02130608) was identified on the State’s 1996 303(d) list as impaired by nutrients, suspended sediments, lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) with an additional listing of impacts to biological communities in 2002.   All impairments were listed for the tidal waters except for the impacts to biological communities, which are listed for the non-tidal region.

A Water Quality Analysis (WQA) of Zn for the tidal waters of Northeast River was conducted by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) using recent water column chemistry data, sediment chemistry data and sediment toxicity data. A data solicitation for these metals was conducted by MDE and all readily available data from the past five years was considered. Results show no impairment for Zn. The report available below will be used to support the removal of the 8-digit basin from Maryland’s list of water quality limited segments (WQLSs) for Zn. Accordingly TMDLs for Zn are not required for Northeast River. The listings for suspended sediments, Pb and impacts to biological communities will be addressed separately at a future date. A TMDL for nutrients was completed in 2004.

Water Quality Analysis of Zinc in Northeast River, Cecil County, Maryland 

EPA Concurrence: December 7, 2005

EPA's Decision Letter EPA's Decision Letter
Main Report  northeastriver_Zn_final.pdf (665KB)
Comment Response Document northeastriver_CRD_Zn_final.pdf (55KB)


Contact Information

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