To the editor:
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 PA Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director John Arway.
Section 303(d) of the Federal Clean Water Act requires that 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.
Stuart Gansell, PE, Director
Bureau of Watershed
(Ret), 35 years