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Watershed Monitoring and Assessment: Federal Regulations and Local Processes Seth Mason.

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Presentation on theme: "Watershed Monitoring and Assessment: Federal Regulations and Local Processes Seth Mason."— Presentation transcript:

1 Watershed Monitoring and Assessment: Federal Regulations and Local Processes Seth Mason

2 The Clean Water Act Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to regulate water quality by defining beneficial uses for all water bodies CDPHE Water Quality Control Division sets WQ criteria for each use Regulation No. 31 of the Colorado Code of Regulations defines WQ standards Water chemistry, aquatic life, temperature, sediment Which waterways are covered? All of them….except man-made diversion structures Who can be regulated? CDPS discharge permit holders (WW treatment works, MS4, industry)

3 303(d) Listing Process in Colorado Establish WQ standards at state level Collect WQ data from stream Meet standards? Add stream to 303(d) list If 303(d) listed, stream may now be removed TMDL Yes No Adapted from: GAO. Water Quality: Inconsistent State Approaches Complicate Nation’s Efforts to Identify Its Most Polluted Waters. January Review standards

4 303(d) Listing Process in Colorado Collect WQ data from stream Meet standards? Add stream to 303(d) list If 303(d) listed, stream may now be removed TMDL Yes No Adapted from: GAO. Water Quality: Inconsistent State Approaches Complicate Nation’s Efforts to Identify Its Most Polluted Waters. January Establish WQ standards at state level Review standards

5 Development of WQ Standards EPA Construction/Post-construction NPDES regulations—TSS, turbidity (public comment) Recreational WQ Criteria—bacteria/pathogens (public comment) Colorado Adopted aquatic life impairment standards—MMI Scores ( ) Numeric nutrient criteria—N and P (rulemaking: March 2012) Numeric limits on stormwater discharges—TSS, TOC, TP (anticipated) Onsite wastewater treatment—design/operation/maintenance of septic systems (public comment ended December 2011)

6 Establish WQ standards at state level Review standards 303(d) Listing Process in Colorado Collect WQ data from stream Meet standards? If 303(d) listed, stream may now be removed Yes No Adapted from: GAO. Water Quality: Inconsistent State Approaches Complicate Nation’s Efforts to Identify Its Most Polluted Waters. January Add stream to 303(d) list TMDL

7 Implications for Local Stakeholders Monitoring and Evaluation Listing Extended monitoring May occur due to ambiguity or uncertainty in sampling results Provisional Listing Identification of source of impairment: pollution or pollutant(s)? TMDL creation 8-13 year process Identify pollutant(s) causing degradation Regulate point sources of loading to stream May result in costly upgrades/installation of infrastructure *Both outcomes may result in greater support for WQ improvement projects (319 Grants, etc.) *Ultimate goal is to reduce pollutant loading to the stream

8 The Eagle River Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Program Now….switching gears to the Eagle River Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Program What is it? What does it do? How much does it cost? How does it tie into the 303(d) listing process?

9 The Eagle River Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Program What is it? Stakeholder partnership 15 Partners Created in 1998 Grew out of a long history of collaboration on WQ issues Managed by ERWC Program Partners UERWA ERWSD Eagle County ERWC Vail Resorts Mgmt. Company Town of Vail Homestake Partners Colorado River Water Conservation Dist. Town of Gypsum Town of Eagle Denver Water U.S. Geological Survey Town of Minturn Crave Real Estate Town of Avon Data Collectors USGS ERWSD River Watch (EML and TOV) Adam’s Rib Newfields (Eagle Mine) USFS Golf Courses(9) CDOW

10 The Eagle River Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Program What does it do? (1)Coordination of data collection efforts throughout the watershed (2)Characterization of available water quantity and water quality data; (3)Stakeholder engagement and technical assistance (4)Long-term monitoring planning (5)Public Education and community outreach (6)Coordination of actions to improve and protect WQ

11 The Eagle River Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Program How much does it cost? 2012 Budget Outlook ItemCost USGS Monitoring (9 WQ data sites, 1 streamflow gauge)$ 52,466 Timberline Aquatics (9 macroinvertebrate sites)$ 20,045 Eagle River Watershed Council (Coordinator, overhead)$ 79,989 Total$ 152,500

12 The Eagle River Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Program How does it tie into the 303(d) listing process? Local program designed to achieve the same results as CWA: improved WQ Data coordination enhances spatio-temporal data coverage, and promotes adherence to a set of protocols that promote high data quality and ease data comparison Designed to detect WQ changes and indicate areas of impairment Vital part of the local process to inform stakeholders and inspire action Example: WQIP for Gore Creek Program strive to engage WQCD to work collaboratively during TMDL creation and next round of data collection

13 Questions?


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