Protecting our State’s Best Streams
Exceptional Value (EV) streams are the state’s best and most pristine streams, and represent about 3% of the state’s stream miles. High Quality (HQ) streams are another 15% of our streams, and are the next best streams in our state.
The EV and HQ designations are designed to recognize these streams and protect them from degradation. The Campaign for Clean Water is working to make sure that all qualified streams get EV or HQ status, and to ensure that they are really protected from pollution.
The Campaign is helping local watershed groups and conservancies nominate qualified streams for EV and HQ status. We have published a guide for local communities that describes what EV and HQ status means. Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future has also published a handbook that describes how to nominate a stream for EV or HQ status.
We are working to convince the PA Department of Environmental Protection to strengthen the protection given EV streams and to monitor them more closely to make sure that their water quality is being protected.
The Campaign is currently pushing DEP to take action on upgrade petitions that have been submitted, some as many as eight years ago. At a meeting last year with the Campaign for Clean Water, DEP Secretary John Hanger instructed his staff to process these long-pending petitions for stream re-designation.
In light of this instruction, the Campaign has been working with groups who have pending upgrade petitions filed with the Department and those watershed groups whose local streams may be up for re-designation, helping them make a final “pitch” for their petitions and watersheds. While DEP has not met the deadline they originally set to review the backlog of petitions, we continue to press them to move forward quickly on protecting deserving streams. We are also helping groups fight proposals to downgrade EV or HQ streams.
To learn if your watershed is on the pending list of redesignations visit: http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/watersupply/cwp/view.asp?a=1261&q=449207
For more background on what the redesignation process entails, visit: http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/watersupply/lib/watersupply/Brief_Explanation.pdf