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News & Press: General Announcement

DEP Chapter 584

Friday, December 6, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: MRWA Staff
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December 5, 2019

The Maine Rural Water Association submitted comments to the Department of Environmental Protection about the proposed changes to Chapter 584, Surface Water Quality Criteria for Toxic Pollutants.

Chapter 584 is being examined again after L.D. 1775 was signed by the Governor this June. The legislation states that DEP “shall adopt rules no later than March 1, 2020” in order to protect the human health of peoples that rely of sustenance fishing.

The recommendations include testing for carbaryl, a chemical that has not previously been regulated. Carbaryl is the second most frequently found insecticide in water according to the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water Quality Assessment and is found in roughly 50% of surface waters tested. They also recommend slashing the acceptable ammonia level by over 50% from 24,100 ppb to 11,000 ppb for freshwater CMC and from 3,000 ppb to 1,400 ppb for chronic CCC levels. These regulations will affect all wastewater utilities but will disproportionally impact districts will lagoon systems. Any utility with a lagoon system should become familiar with future changes to Chapter 584 and the mandatory actions that will follow implementation. 

MRWA believes this approach is rushed and encouraged the state to create a stakeholder group to evaluate all considerations of adding, and tightening, certain restrictions relating to surface water. Should the proposed rules be adopted unchanged there will be significant ramifications for wastewater treatment facilities.

For more information on the proposed changes to Chapter 584 please visit: https://www.maine.gov/dep/rules/index.html#1587974