Saturday, December 25, 2010
A new state water act requires the Department of Environmental Protection to look at petitions organizations file concerning watersheds and the use of water within a watershed. One example is Chestnut Ridge Trout Unlimited in Somerset County. They asked for the Laurel Hill Creek to be designated a critical water plan and it was in November. There have been three other watersheds designated recently as critical water planning areas in Fayette, Somerset and Montgomery counties. Back Creek in Fayette County and Marsh Creek and Rock Run, both in Montgomery County were the other designated waterways. Laurel Hill and Back creeks are in the Ohio River Basin and two are in the Potomac River Basin. The Laurel Hill Creek plan was approved in January of this year. Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection John Hanger says the purpose of a critical water planning area designation is to make sure that the withdrawal and uses of water in an area are sustainable and "so that some of the most important watersheds in the state don't see deterioration in quality because of unwise or unsustainable uses of local waters."