I represent a group of 22 retired Department of Environmental Protection professionals who have more 600 years of combined service in managing all aspects of the Commonwealth's water quality and pollution control programs. Our careers span from the 1950s to the recent past. Most of the Commonwealth's water quality related laws, regulations and policies were developed and implemented on our watch.
We have notified DEP Secretary Michael Krancer of our concern about the environmental conditions that exist in the Susquehanna and Juniata rivers, particularly regarding the smallmouth bass population and DEP's refusal to acknowledge that these waters are impaired. Our concerns are similar to those of Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director John Arway.
Section 303(d) of the Federal Clean Water Act requires the states periodically provide the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with a list of impaired waters. Frankly, we do not understand DEP's reluctance to list the Susquehanna and Juniata rivers as impaired. It is not necessary to know the reason for the impairment. Listing would focus attention and funding on the issue.
These rivers were once a valuable water supply, recreational and economic resource.
As former DEP scientists, engineers and attorneys we take pride in what we have accomplished. We are also willing to volunteer our time and experience to assist DEP in restoring and preserving this significant resource.
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Editor's note: This letter was signed by the following people:
- Stuart Gansell, PE, Director Bureau of Watershed Management (Ret), 35 years
- Robert Agnew, Chief, Environmental Analysis and Support, Bureau of Mining and Reclamation, 34 years
- Daniel L. Alters, Environmental Program Manager, Williamsport Regional Office, 35 years
- Charles D. Ferree, Jr., Sewage Planning Supervisor, Water Management Program, 32 years
- Andrew E. Friedrich, Chief, Division of Mine Hazards, Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation, 35 years
- Robert P. Ging Jr., Esq. Assistant Attorney General, 4 years
- Steve R. Jones, Chief, Division of Mine Hazards, Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation, 26 years
- Michael J. Klimkos, Water Pollution Biologist II, 32 rears
- Susan M. Klimkos, Clerical Supervisor, 15 years
- Milt Lauch, Chief, Division of Wastewater Management, Bureau of Water Quality Management, 33 years
- Walter A. Lyon, Pa. Water Quality Administrator, 22 years
- John Meehan, Mining Program Manager, 33 years
- Leon M. Oberdick Jr., Water Management Program Manager, Southcentral Regional Office, 35 years
- Kenneth Okorn, Chief Compliance and Monitoring, Bureau of Water Quality Management, 32 years
- Curtis Pieper, Executive Assistant, Office of Mineral Resources Management, 20 years
- Robert J. Schott, BS/MS, Water Pollution Biologist Supervisor, Water Management Program, 32 years
- Joseph Schueck, P.E., PG. Chief, Division of Acid Mine Drainage Abatement, BAMR, 36 years
- Evan T. Shuster, Hydrogeologist, 35 years
- Peter Slack, Division Chief, Bureaus of Water Quality Management and Mining and Reclamation, 30 years
- Khervin D. Smith Esq., 35 years
- James T. Ulanoski, BS/MS, Water Pollution Biologist, Chief Aquatic Biology Section, 25 years
- Robert J. Wellington, Biologist, 36 years.