HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- DEP Secretary Mike Krancer announced today that DEP has submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) its final 2012 Integrated Waters report, a biannual assessment of the state's rivers and streams required by the federal Clean Water Act. The report describes the health of various waterways in the state and, where needed, the state proposes listing waterways as impaired.
"Our final report is firmly grounded in sound science, and we expect that EPA will agree with it based on the science presented," DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. "Based on the science and law, we do not believe that the main stem of Susquehanna River should be proposed as impaired under the Clean Water Act. While we recognize that the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and others had requested that DEP propose to impair a 98-mile stretch of the Susquehanna River, as we have pointed out on many occasions before, that view is based on very limited, piecemeal data and is not supported by the existing data or the law. But DEP takes the concerns expressed about the Susquehanna very seriously and we are doing something about it. We will be taking, separately, a comprehensive and strategic approach to ensure that the Susquehanna River is protected.
"My staff will be working with the Fish and Boat Commission, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission and the U.S. Geological Survey to ensure water quality and aquatic life are being protected in the Susquehanna River. In particular, we recognize that there are issues facing smallmouth bass, such as what is called young-of-year die-offs; lesions on adult bass; and inter-sexing of the species," Krancer said. Inter-sexed fish are males with female characteristics, and young-of-year are recently hatched bass.