§ 93.8a. Toxic substances.

 (a)  The waters of this Commonwealth may not contain toxic substances attributable to point or nonpoint source waste discharges in concentrations or amounts that are inimical to the water uses to be protected.

 (b)  Water quality criteria for toxic substances shall be established as described under Chapter 16 (relating to water quality toxics management strategy—statement of policy). The Department will develop water quality criteria for toxic substances not listed in Chapter 93, Table 5 in accordance with §  93.8d (relating to development of site-specific water quality criteria) and Chapter 16. Appendix A, Table 1A in Chapter 16 lists site-specific human health and aquatic life criteria that have been recently developed or adopted by the Department based on approved methodologies and the best scientific information currently available. The approved analytical procedures and detection limits for these substances will also be listed in Chapter 16. Chapter 16, along with changes made to it, is hereby specifically incorporated by reference.

 (c)  Water quality criteria for toxic substances which exhibit threshold effects will be established by application of margins of safety to the results of toxicity testing to prevent the occurrence of a threshold effect.

 (d)  Nonthreshold carcinogenic effects of toxic substances, will be controlled to a risk management level of one excess case of cancer in a population of 1 million (1 x 10-6) over a 70-year lifetime. Other nonthreshold effects of toxic substances will be controlled at a risk management level as determined by the Department.

 (e)  Water quality criteria for toxics shall be applied in accordance with Chapter 96 (relating to water quality standards implementation) and any other applicable State and Federal laws and regulations. For carcinogens, the design conditions shall result in a lifetime—70 years—average exposure corresponding to the risk management level specified in subsection (d).

 (f)  The Department will consider both the acute and chronic toxic impacts to aquatic life and human health.

 (g)  The Department may consider synergistic, antagonistic and additive toxic impacts.

 (h)  The Department will periodically, but at least once every 3 years, review, revise as necessary, and publish new or revised water quality criteria for toxic substances, and revised procedures for criteria development in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

 (i)  A person challenging criteria established by the Department under this section shall have the burden of proof to demonstrate that the criteria does not meet the requirements of this section. In addition, a person who proposes an alternative site-specific criterion shall have the burden of proof to demonstrate that the site specific criterion meets the requirements of this section.

 (j)  The requirements for discharges to and antidegradation requirements for the Great Lakes System are as follows:

   (1)  Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this section, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   BAF—Bioaccumulation Factor—The ratio in liters per kilogram of a substance’s concentration in tissues of an aquatic organism to its concentration in the ambient water, when both the organism and its food are exposed and the ratio does not change substantially over time.

   BCC—Bioaccumulative Chemical of Concern—A chemical that has the potential to cause adverse effects which, upon entering the surface waters, by itself or its toxic transformation product, accumulates in aquatic organisms by a human health BAF greater than 1,000, after considering metabolism and other physiochemical properties that might enhance or inhibit bioaccumulation, under the methodology in 40 CFR Part 132 Appendix B (relating to Great Lakes Water Quality Initiative). Current BCCs are listed in 40 CFR 132.6, Table 6.A (relating to pollutants of initial focus in the Great Lakes Water Quality Initiative).

   Great Lakes System—The streams, rivers, lakes and other bodies of surface water within the drainage basin of the Great Lakes in this Commonwealth.

   Open Waters of the Great Lakes—The waters within the Great Lakes in this Commonwealth lakeward from a line drawn across the mouth of the tributaries to the lakes, including the waters enclosed by constructed breakwaters, but not including the connecting channels.

   (2)  Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs). TMDLs for Open Waters of the Great Lakes shall be derived following the procedures in 40 CFR Part 132, Appendix F, Procedure 3.D (relating to Great Lakes Water Quality Initiative implementation procedures).

   (3)  Statewide antidegradation requirements in this chapter and Chapter 96 (relating to water quality standards implementation) and in the Federal regulation in 40 CFR 131.32(a) (relating to Pennsylvania) as applicable, apply to all surface waters of the Great Lakes System.

   (4)  If, for any BCC, the quality of the surface water exceeds the levels necessary to support the propagation of fish, shellfish and wildlife and recreation in and on the waters, that quality shall be maintained and protected, unless the Department finds that allowing lower water quality is necessary to accommodate important economic or social development in the area in which the surface water is located.


   The provisions of this §  93.8a issued under sections 5 and 402 of The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. § §  691.5 and 691.402); and section 1920-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. §  510-20).


   The provisions of this §  93.8a adopted March 10, 1989, effective March 11, 1989, 19 Pa.B. 968; amended December 26, 1997, effective December 27, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 6799; amended November 17, 2000, effective November 18, 2000, 30 Pa.B. 6059; amended December 13, 2002, effective December 14, 2002, 32 Pa.B. 6098; amended May 15, 2009, effective May 16, 2009, 39 Pa.B. 2523. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (309714) to (309716).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  16.33 (relating to nonthreshold effects (cancer)); 25 Pa. Code §  93.4b (relating to qualifying as High Quality or Exceptional Value Waters); 25 Pa. Code §  93.8 (relating to development of site-specific water quality criteria for the protection of aquatic life); and 25 Pa. Code §  96.3 (relating to water quality protection requirements).

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