Water Quality Analyses (WQA) with EPA Concurrence of MDE's Findings: Wills Creek

Wills Creek is located in Allegany County and flows south from its headwaters in Pennsylvania to discharge into the Upper Potomac River at Cumberland, MD.    Wills Creek (basin code 02-14-10-03), located in Allegany and Garrett Counties, Maryland, was identified on the State’s list of Water Quality Limited Segments (WQLSs) as impaired by cyanide (Cn) (1996 listing), sediments (1996 listing), nutrients (1996 listing), low pH (1998 listing), and impacts to biological communities (2002 listing).  In addition, stream segments in two 12-digit-basins of Wills Creek were identified as WQLSs, impaired by low pH:  Jennings Run (12-digit basin - 021410030100) (2004 listing), and a unnamed tributary (UT) 1 of Jennings Run (12-digit basin - 021410030099) (2002 listing).  The report available below provides an analysis of recent monitoring data to address whether the low pH impairments in Wills Creek still remain. The study demonstrates that applicable aquatic life criteria for pH and the designated uses supported by this criteria are being met in the Wills Creek 8-digit basin and Jennings Run stream segment (12-digit basin - 021410030100) therefore a TMDL is not required.  The pH criteria are not being met in the following 12-digit basins:  UT 1 of Jennings Run stream segment (12-digit basin - 021410030099) as well as an additional stream segment, Jennings Run, within the same 12-digit basin and a localized low pH impairment represented by Station 60 in an unnamed tributary of Jennings Run flowing through Mount Savage in the 12 digit-basin (021410030098).

Barring the receipt of any contradictory data, this report will be used to support the removal of the Wills Creek 8-digit basin as well as the Jennings Run stream segment (12-digit basin - 021410030100) from Maryland’s 303(d) list for low pH.  The listing for the Jennings Run tributary stream segment (12-digit basin - 021410030099) will remain on the 303(d) list for low pH.  A new listing for the Jennings Run stream segment (12-digit basin - 021410030099) and the stream segment represented by Station 60 (12-digit - 021410030098) will be included in Category 5 of the 303(d) list.  The listings for impacts to biological communities, nutrients, sediments and Cn will be addressed at a future date. 

Water Quality Analysis of Low pH in Wills Creek, Allegany County, MD

(Concurrence December 16, 2005)

EPA's Decision Letter

EPA's Decision Letter

Main Report 


Comment Response Document


Contact Information

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