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Water Resources Workshop. Standards, Use Attainability, Impairments and TMDLS Richard Eskin Maryland Department of the Environment February 20, 2004. Triennial Review. Currently underway for uses, criteria, and antidegradation.

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Water resources workshop

Water Resources Workshop

Standards, Use Attainability, Impairments

and TMDLS

Richard Eskin

Maryland Department of the Environment

February 20, 2004


Triennial review

Triennial Review

  • Currently underway for uses, criteria, and antidegradation.

  • Draft Regulations were published in the Maryland Register, Vol. 31, Issue 2, January 23, 2004, beginning on p. 128.

  • Comment period has been extended to April 30.

  • Hearings currently scheduled:

    • February 23, 2004: Hagerstown, MD

    • February 25, 2004: Dorchester, MD

    • February 26, 2004: Baltimore, MD


Designated uses review

Designated Uses Review

  • Reclassification of Aquatic Life Use

    • Roaring Run (tributary to North Branch of the Patapsco River),

    • Un-named tributary to the North Branch of the Patapsco River, and

    • Rock Run in Cecil County

      from Use I to Use III.

  • Basis for revisions: DNR has requested these designated use changes based on an analysis of the current distributions of naturally reproducing trout populations in these segments. Monitored temperature is consistent with the proposed designated use for these streams.


Water quality criteria updates

Water Quality Criteria Updates

  • National Recommended Water Quality Criteria: 2002(EPA-822-R-02-047) November 2002

    • Supercedes prior Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 304(a) criteria.

    • Compilation of 158 pollutants.

  • EPA revised the methodology it uses to develop water quality criteria for protection of human health resulting in many changes.


Numeric wq criteria bacteria

Numeric WQ Criteria: Bacteria

  • New Standards based on Beaches Act (2000)

  • Highlights

    • Bacterial Indicator: Transition from fecal coliform standard to Enterococci spp./E. coli

    • Criteria: two part, based on frequency of use

      • Steady State Geometric Mean (minimum of 5 samples)

      • Single Sample Maximum Allowable Density

    • Establishment of Frequency of Use – local Health officials


Narrative criteria

Narrative Criteria

Biocriteria:

  • Establish management and policy framework

  • Set standards for implementation procedures


Antidegradation

Antidegradation

  • Antidegradation provides a tiered system for protecting the good quality of waters that have always met or exceeded their standards.

  • Antidegradation provides a framework for protecting hard-won gains once water quality goals are reached.

  • Three antidegradation tiers under EPA regulations

    • Tier 1: Must not degrade below minimum water quality requirement (“fishable/swimmable”) applies to all waters

    • Tier 2: Protects water better than the minimum water quality from degrading to the minimum.

    • Tier 3: Protects the highest quality waters (i.e., Outstanding Natural Resource waters).


Antidegradation1

Antidegradation

  • Maryland currently has an antidegradation policy that protects the quality of water that is better than the standards for that use (Tier II).

  • We are proposing implementation procedures for determining and protecting water quality where it is better than the minimum required.


Tier 2 implementation

Tier 2 Implementation

  • Two components:

    • How to determine when water quality is “better” than the minimum required, and

    • What to do when there is an application for a new or increased discharge to that water body.


When is water quality better

When is water quality better?

  • If the MBSS IBI score is at least 4 out 5 (80% of possible score), for B- and F- IBIs the water is considered higher quality.

  • If the one-sided 90% confidence interval around the mean of the available data for a specific water quality parameter is better than the numeric criterion, the water is considered higher quality for that parameter. See next slide for example.


Water resources workshop

Copper

Dissolved oxygen

90% CI around mean of available data

9 ppb chronic copper standard

5 mg/l standard


How do we know where thetier 2 waters are

How do we know where theTier 2 waters are?

  • A draft list has been prepared based on MBSS data.

  • It has been published with the draft regulation and is subject to comment just like the regulation.


Tier ii assimilative capacity

Tier II & Assimilative Capacity

  • The assimilative capacity is the difference between the water quality at the time the water body was designated as Tier 2 (baseline) and the water quality criterion.

  • A maximum cumulative reduction of 25% (allows for natural variability) of the assimilative capacity from all sources is allowed. This is essentially a water quality cap.


Review requirements

Review Requirements

  • Apply to both permit applications and amendments to water and sewer plans.

  • Three key questions:

    • Is there a no-discharge possibility?

    • If not, has everything been done to minimize the impact.

    • If there is still a necessary impact, a Social and Economic Justification (SEJ) may be necessary.


Components of the sej

Components of the SEJ

  • Impacts from treatment beyond the costs to meet technology- or water quality-based controls.

  • Cost and benefits of maintaining high quality.

  • Determine whether the costs of pollution controls would limit development in the watershed that includes the Tier 2 water.


Other criteria

Other Criteria

  • Water Color: 75 Units Cobalt-Platinum Scale - in-stream numeric criteria


Triennial review contact info

Triennial Review Contact Info

  • Water Quality Standards

    • Joseph Beaman ([email protected])

    • George Harman ([email protected])

  • Water Use: Permit and Discharge issues

    • Contact for WMA


Chesapeake bay standards

Chesapeake Bay Standards

  • Currently being developed.

  • Will follow EPA Region III guidance fairly closely.

  • Will have an informal, informational review this spring. Will essentially be a first draft of regulations.

  • UAA will be abbreviated, but sufficient to enable review of the new standards


Chesapeake bay standards1

Chesapeake Bay Standards

  • UAA will

    • Contain Bay Program attainment tables,

    • Explanation regarding natural conditions for deep channel,

    • Some development of “human caused conditions that can’t be remedied”

    • Some cost estimates.

  • UAA will be expanded for draft regulations


Impairments

Impairments

  • 2004 303(d) list has completed the review period and comments are being compiled, and responses developed.

  • At this time we anticipate submitting the List to EPA by April.

  • Most new impairments were for degradation of biological communities.


Tmdls

TMDLs

  • Revising 1998 schedule to reflect resources, need for outreach, method development.

  • Summary of changes published in MdR Feb. 6, 2004, p. 231.

  • Comment period open for 30 days.

    • Extends completion from 10 years to 13 years consistent with EPA guidance.


Tmdls1

TMDLs

  • Change due date for each year from Dec. to Sept.

  • Clarify that TMDLs aren’t the only way to address impairments.

  • Provides a two year schedule.

  • Commits to also working on post-1998 lists.


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