As background, U.S. EPA released a memo on November 15, 2010 that provided the States with information and guidance in regards to ocean acidification and State water quality reporting. According to EPA, States should list waters that are not meeting water quality standards (including marine pH) on their 303(d) lists. The memo also acknowledged that information to support listings for ocean acidification may be absent or limited in many states. EPA provided a list of potential data sources for States to examine in making their listing determinations.
In January 2011, EPD requested water quality data and information to be used in the development of Georgia’s draft 2012 305(b)/303(d) List of Waters. No data were provided that demonstrated that the ocean waters off of Georgia’s coast are impaired for low pH based on Georgia’s pH criteria. All available pH data were collected in tidal streams, not in the ocean, which are addressed under the Georgia instream water quality criteria. Therefore, EPD determined that no data were provided that indicated that oceans off of the Coast of Georgia were impaired for pH.
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