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100-year Floodplain Protections at the Lahontan Water Board Caltrans Road Ecology Meeting, Water Quality Session February 26, 2009 Tobi Tyler Water Resource.

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Presentation on theme: "100-year Floodplain Protections at the Lahontan Water Board Caltrans Road Ecology Meeting, Water Quality Session February 26, 2009 Tobi Tyler Water Resource."— Presentation transcript:

1 100-year Floodplain Protections at the Lahontan Water Board Caltrans Road Ecology Meeting, Water Quality Session February 26, 2009 Tobi Tyler Water Resource Control Engineer Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board South Lake Tahoe, CA (530) 542-5435 ttyler@waterboards.ca.gov

2 2 FREE Workshop Announcement: Using Green Infrastructure to Address Hydromodification Issues Within the Arid West March 9th, ½-day Tour, 1 – 5 pm Apple Valley, California March 10th, Workshop, 9 am – 5 pm Victorville, CA To register: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/academy/

3 3 Presentation Outline Where is Lahontan Region? Where is Lahontan Region? Regulatory basis for what we do Regulatory basis for what we do SW and 401 Programs and General Permits that apply SW and 401 Programs and General Permits that apply Example projects and messages from the ground troops Example projects and messages from the ground troops 100-year floodplain discharge prohibition in the Truckee and Tahoe 100-year floodplain discharge prohibition in the Truckee and Tahoe

4 4 Lahontan Water Board’s Jurisdiction u Extends from the Oregon Border east of the Sierra Nevada crest to the northern Mojave Desert u Lahontan name derived from prehistoric Lake Lahontan u 570 miles long u Total area over 33,000 square miles

5 5 Regional Setting Over 700 lakes Over 700 lakes 3,170 miles of streams 3,170 miles of streams 1,581 square miles of ground water basins 1,581 square miles of ground water basins Varied topography, soils, climates, precipitation amounts Varied topography, soils, climates, precipitation amounts Mountainous areas-70 in./yr. Mountainous areas-70 in./yr. Desert areas- 2 in./year Desert areas- 2 in./year Resident population of region is low Resident population of region is low Concentrated in high density communities Concentrated in high density communities

6 6 Establishes State Board and 9 Water Boards to protect ground and surface water quality Establishes State Board and 9 Water Boards to protect ground and surface water quality Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act (CA Water Code) Water Boards adopt Basin Plans Water Boards adopt Basin Plans Watershed based Watershed based Basin Plans are regulatory (enforceable) Basin Plans are regulatory (enforceable) Water Quality Standards (WQS) Water Quality Standards (WQS) Designated Beneficial Uses Designated Beneficial Uses WQ Objectives (Criteria) WQ Objectives (Criteria) Narrative Narrative Numeric Numeric Anti-degradation Anti-degradation Implementation Plans Implementation Plans Plan to obtain WQ standards including: Plan to obtain WQ standards including: Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for impaired waters Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for impaired waters Policies and Plans Policies and Plans Monitoring and Assessments Monitoring and Assessments

7 7 Basin Plan Strategy Existing and Potential Water Quality Problems Existing and Potential Water Quality Problems Water Quality Standards Water Quality Standards Objectives Objectives Beneficial Uses Beneficial Uses Prohibitions Prohibitions Policies, Guidelines, and Implementation Measures Policies, Guidelines, and Implementation Measures http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterbo ards_map.shtml http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterbo ards_map.shtml

8 8 Agricultural Supply (Truckee River, NV) Agricultural Supply (Truckee River, NV) Beneficial Uses Hydropower (Farad Hydropower Facility) Hydropower (Farad Hydropower Facility)

9 9 Industrial Supply (Granite’s Concrete Batch Plant, I-80 Boca/Floriston Project) Industrial Supply (Granite’s Concrete Batch Plant, I-80 Boca/Floriston Project) Beneficial Uses (cont.) Municipal/Domestic Water Supply Municipal/Domestic Water Supply

10 10 Beneficial Uses (cont.) (Owens River) Wildlife Habitat (Owens River)

11 11 Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Species (Lahontan Cutthroat Trout) Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Species (Lahontan Cutthroat Trout) Beneficial Uses (cont.)

12 12 Recreation Recreation (Truckee River) Beneficial Uses (cont.) Navigation Navigation (Lake Tahoe) Fishing Fishing

13 13 Migration of Aquatic Organisms Migration of Aquatic Organisms Inland Saline Water Habitat (Desert Pup Fish) Inland Saline Water Habitat (Desert Pup Fish) Beneficial Uses (cont.)

14 14 Beneficial Uses (cont.) Preservation of Biological Habitat of Special Significance Preservation of Biological Habitat of Special Significance Mono Lake

15 15 Beneficial Uses (cont.) Flood Peak Attenuation / Flood Water Storage Lower Owens River Project (Owens Valley) (Truckee River, CA)

16 16 Water Board Elements Basin Plan Basin Plan CEQA Review CEQA Review Monitoring Monitoring Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/swamp/ Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/swamp/ Outreach/Education Outreach/Education Regulatory/Enforcement Program Regulatory/Enforcement Program Regulations/Prohibitions Regulations/Prohibitions Permits, including 401 certifications and SW construction Permits, including 401 certifications and SW construction Inspections Inspections Enforcement Actions Enforcement Actions

17 17 Fill and/or Dredge Permitting U.S. Waters U.S. Waters Subset of waters of state Subset of waters of state D/F at or below OHWM D/F at or below OHWM Wetland Delineation Wetland Delineation Requires Requires Corps 404 permit Corps 404 permit State 401 certification State 401 certification State Board certified by blanket Order – a few NWPs State Board certified by blanket Order – a few NWPs State Board issue individual multi-regional 401 certs State Board issue individual multi-regional 401 certs Regional Water Boards issue individual 401 certs Regional Water Boards issue individual 401 certs

18 18 Fill and/or Dredge Permitting (cont.) State Waters that are NOT also US waters State Waters that are NOT also US waters Ground and surface waters, including: Ground and surface waters, including: Isolated waters Isolated waters Headwaters Headwaters Swales Swales WDRs required WDRs required Individual Waste Discharge Requirements Individual Waste Discharge Requirements General WDRs General WDRs Order No. 2004-0004-DWQ (F/D for non-federal waters) Order No. 2004-0004-DWQ (F/D for non-federal waters) < 0.2 acre and < 0.2 acre and < 500 linear feet of fill and excavation, or < 500 linear feet of fill and excavation, or < 50 cy of dredging activity < 50 cy of dredging activity Order No. R6T-2003-0004 (“Small Construction Permit”) Order No. R6T-2003-0004 (“Small Construction Permit”) Fill/dredge – for non-federal waters Fill/dredge – for non-federal waters 10,000 ft 2 to 1 acre disturbance outside Tahoe Basin 10,000 ft 2 to 1 acre disturbance outside Tahoe Basin

19 19 Erosion Control Guidelines During Construction October 15 – May 1: No Soil Disturbance Period, site stabilized by 10/15 October 15 – May 1: No Soil Disturbance Period, site stabilized by 10/15 No surplus or waste materials to surface waters or 100-year floodplains No surplus or waste materials to surface waters or 100-year floodplains Diversions/Dewatering – no pollutant discharge Diversions/Dewatering – no pollutant discharge Control run-on water Control run-on waterPost-construction Treat or retain runoff from the 20-year, 1-hour storm (= about 0.7 inches of rain) Treat or retain runoff from the 20-year, 1-hour storm (= about 0.7 inches of rain) Revegetation with native plants Revegetation with native plants

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30 30 Things to Think About ( Message from the trenches) Road runoff – SHEET FLOW is best – traps & basins are fine, but do NOT concentrate flow to waterway w/ roadside V-ditch. Road runoff – SHEET FLOW is best – traps & basins are fine, but do NOT concentrate flow to waterway w/ roadside V-ditch. No stockpiling next to creek. No stockpiling next to creek. Communication and Training: Disconnect between maintenance staff, biologists and engineers. Communication and Training: Disconnect between maintenance staff, biologists and engineers. Communicate with other agencies in area. Communicate with other agencies in area. Anticipate the worst and prepare for it. Anticipate the worst and prepare for it. Keep the dirt out of the waterway by some manner of infiltration – either basins or sheet flow Keep the dirt out of the waterway by some manner of infiltration – either basins or sheet flow

31 31 Prohibitions Discharge of wastes to surface waters (including wetlands) Discharge of wastes to surface waters (including wetlands) Discharge of wastes to 100-year flood plains in the Tahoe Basin and the Truckee River watershed. Discharge of wastes to 100-year flood plains in the Tahoe Basin and the Truckee River watershed. “Wastes” include earthen materials. “Wastes” include earthen materials.

32 32 Lake Tahoe and Truckee River Watersheds RON ODEN –RGJ

33 33 1975 – 100-year floodplain prohibition 1975 – 100-year floodplain prohibition BUs – Flood Peak Attenuation BUs – Flood Peak Attenuation WQO – particularly the anti-degradation standard WQO – particularly the anti-degradation standard 1985 – Exemption Amendment Adopted 1985 – Exemption Amendment Adopted Pre-1985 decisions Pre-1985 decisions How it has worked: How it has worked: WDRs -> Waivers -> Resolutions WDRs -> Waivers -> Resolutions History of 100-year Floodplain Prohibition & Exemptions

34 34 Basin Plan Prohibition The discharge or threatened discharge, attributable to human activities, of solid or liquid waste materials including soil, silt, clay, sand, and other organic and earthen materials to lands within the 100-year floodplain of the Truckee River (high water level of Lake Tahoe) or any tributary to the Truckee River (Lake Tahoe) is prohibited.

35 35 Benefits of Floodplains Flood flow attenuation Flood flow attenuation Sediment removal Sediment removal Nutrient uptake (wetland / riparian areas) Nutrient uptake (wetland / riparian areas) Fish and other wildlife habitat (riparian areas) Fish and other wildlife habitat (riparian areas) Scenery Scenery Access for water contact recreation Access for water contact recreation

36 36 Exemption Criteria Project Types – must be at least one Project Types – must be at least one Repair/replace existing structures Repair/replace existing structures Erosion control, water quality improvement, or watershed restoration Erosion control, water quality improvement, or watershed restoration Public health or safety or to provide essential public service, including transportation Public health or safety or to provide essential public service, including transportation Bridge abutments, approaches, or other essential transportation facilities Bridge abutments, approaches, or other essential transportation facilities Public recreation Public recreation

37 37 Exemption Criteria (cont.) No reasonable alternative to locating the project or portions of the project within the 100-year flood plain No reasonable alternative to locating the project or portions of the project within the 100-year flood plain Project, by its very nature, must be located within the 100-year flood plain (recreation only) Project, by its very nature, must be located within the 100-year flood plain (recreation only) The project incorporates measures that mitigate erosion and surface runoff problems to levels of insignificance The project incorporates measures that mitigate erosion and surface runoff problems to levels of insignificance

38 38 Exemption Criteria (cont.) The project will not individually or cumulatively, directly or indirectly, degrade water quality or impair beneficial uses The project will not individually or cumulatively, directly or indirectly, degrade water quality or impair beneficial uses The project will not reduce the flood flow attenuation capacity, the surface flow treatment capacity, or the ground water treatment capacity (mitigation) The project will not reduce the flood flow attenuation capacity, the surface flow treatment capacity, or the ground water treatment capacity (mitigation)

39 39 How we grant exemption Staff make findings for each criterion in Waste Discharge Prohibition Exemption Staff make findings for each criterion in Waste Discharge Prohibition Exemption Exemption Findings + Notice of Applicability (NOA) for coverage under General WDR Exemption Findings + Notice of Applicability (NOA) for coverage under General WDR Project associated with Small Construction permit (10,000 sq. ft to 1 acre) Project associated with Small Construction permit (10,000 sq. ft to 1 acre) Floodplain Exemption + 401 cert Floodplain Exemption + 401 cert Floodplain Exemption + 401 cert + NOA Floodplain Exemption + 401 cert + NOA Floodplain Exemption Floodplain Exemption

40 40 Two “Lines in the Sand” Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) CWA Section 404 and 401 needed CWA Section 404 and 401 needed 100-year Floodplain 100-year Floodplain Floodplain Exemption needed Floodplain Exemption needed

41 41 Locating the OWHM Matt Gingrich Geomorphological (geological) evidence Geomorphological (geological) evidence Botanical evidence Botanical evidence Soil evidence Soil evidence Other physical evidence Other physical evidence

42 42 Botanical Evidence Paul Pace

43 43 Other Evidence of OHWM Paul Pace OHWM

44 44 Matt Gingrich

45 45 Matt Gingrich

46 46 Floodplain Protections Result Limited encroachment Limited encroachment Limited flood damage Limited flood damage Water quality in the Truckee River Water quality in the Truckee River Truckee River impaired for sediment, BUT, background levels are only 3 NTU of turbidity Truckee River impaired for sediment, BUT, background levels are only 3 NTU of turbidity Beneficial Uses protected Beneficial Uses protected Anti-degradation standard maintained Anti-degradation standard maintained

47 47 Questions?


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