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Nutrient Monitoring on the Ohio River: Balancing Information Needs. The Ohio River Basin. 981 Miles long from Pittsburgh, PA, to Cairo, IL Drainage basin covers 204,000 sq. miles in 14 states Basin home to 25+ million people Drinking water for 3 million people

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Ohio river basin facts

981 Miles long from Pittsburgh, PA, to Cairo, IL Needs

Drainage basin covers 204,000 sq. miles in 14 states

Basin home to 25+ million people

Drinking water for 3 million people

120+ species of fish live in the Ohio River

20 dams and 49 power-generating facilities

230 million tons of cargo transported annually

Ohio River/ Basin Facts


About orsanco
About ORSANCO Needs

  • Interstate Compact agency

  • Member states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia.

  • 3 Commissioners per state plus 3 federal


Authority ohio river valley water sanitation compact
Authority: Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Compact Needs

  • The Compact is incorporated in the laws of each of the member states.

  • The Compact is also incorporated in Federal law.

  • The Compact was signed by the Governors and State Commissioners on June 30, 1948.


Guiding principle wastes discharged in one state shall not harm the waters of another state
Guiding Principle: NeedsWastes discharged in one state shall not harm the waters of another state.


Commission Structure Needs

3 Commissioners per State = 24

3 Federal Commissioners = 3

Total Commissioners = 27

Standing

Committees

Special

Committees

Program Advisory

Committees

Advisory

Committees

ORSANCO Staff

Administrative

Technical

Public

Information


Orsanco commissioners represent
ORSANCO Commissioners Represent: Needs

  • Municipal Utilities (4)

  • State/Fed environmental

    agencies (8)

  • Attorneys (4)

  • Elected Official (1)

  • Environmental

    consultants (3)

  • Educational institutions (1)

  • Industry (1)


Current program areas
Current Program Areas Needs

  • Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment

  • Biological Studies

  • Spill Detection and Response

  • Pollution Control Standards

  • Public Involvement


Monitoring assessment requirements of the ohio river vws compact
Monitoring/Assessment Requirements of the Ohio River VWS Compact

  • No specific mention

  • Article I sets water quality goals for interstate waters, pledges states to work cooperatively to reach them.

  • Article VI sets water quality requirements for intrastate waters.

  • Implied need – status and trends monitoring/assessment.


Monitoring assessment requirements of the ohio river vws compact1
Monitoring/Assessment Requirements of the Ohio River VWS Compact

  • Article VIII charges the Commission to study the pollution problems of the District.

  • Implied need - any monitoring/assessment effort that identifies causes of water quality problems.


Current monitoring and assessment activities
Current Monitoring and Assessment Activities Compact

  • Monitoring of the Ohio River on behalf of the states

  • Biennial water quality assessment (305[b])

  • Special studies as directed –currently wet weather studies, biological criteria development


Routine monitoring programs
Routine Monitoring Programs Compact

  • Bimonthly ambient monitoring

  • Bacteria and Dissolved Oxygen

  • Fish Population studies

  • Macroinvertebrate sampling

  • Fish Tissue analyses


Orsanco nutrient related activities
ORSANCO Nutrient Related Activities Compact

  • Algae and Nutrient Monitoring

  • Nutrient Criteria Development

  • Participation in Gulf Hypoxia Meetings

  • Nutrient Loading Project

  • Organize and coordinate Ohio River Sub Basin Committee


Algae monitoring
Algae Monitoring Compact

  • Taste and Odor problems in drinking water supplies

  • Need for consistent data

  • Cooperative sampling with water utilities


Nutrient criteria development
Nutrient Criteria Development Compact

  • Need for cause (nutrient) and effect (algae, chlorophyll a) data

  • Desire for multiple observations to define relationships


Current algae nutrient monitoring program
Current Algae/ Nutrient Monitoring Program Compact

  • Cooperative monitoring by ten Ohio River drinking water utilities.

  • Samples collected two times per month.

  • Analyses for algae, chlorophyll a, turbidity, total P, TKN, ammonia N, nitrite + nitrate N.


Ecoregions of the Mainstem Compact

TN – 2.18 mg/L

TP – 0.076 mg/L

TN – 0.31 mg/L

TP – 0.010 mg/L

TN – 0.69 mg/L

TP – 0.037 mg/L


Average Phosphorous Concentrations Compact

Default USEPA Criteria

Ecoregion VI – 0.076 mg/L

Ecoregion IX – 0.037 mg/L

Ecoregion XI – 0.010 mg/L

River-wide Average

TP = 0.15 mg/L

0.11 mg/L

0.12 mg/L

0.10 mg/L

0.18 mg/L

0.16 mg/L

0.25 mg/L

0.11 mg/L

0.11 mg/L

0.15 mg/L

0.24 mg/L


Average Nitrogen Concentrations Compact

Default USEPA Criteria

Ecoregion VI – 2.18 mg/L

Ecoregion IX – 0.69 mg/L

Ecoregion XI – 0.31 mg/L

River-wide Average

TN = 1.50 mg/L

1.50 mg/L

1.56 mg/L

1.22 mg/L

1.44 mg/L

1.67 mg/L

2.22 mg/L

1.36 mg/L

1.68 mg/L

1.94 mg/L

1.15 mg/L


Wheeling, WV Compact


Wheeling, WV Compact


Orsanco participation in gulf hypoxia deliberations
ORSANCO Participation in Gulf Hypoxia Deliberations Compact

  • Attended meetings on behalf of member states since 1995.

  • Have attended all Task Force meetings.

  • Full Commission met in conjunction with Task Force in 2002.

  • Received funding for 1st year of Sub Basin Committee operation in June, 2005.


Actions assigned to sub basin committees
Actions Assigned to CompactSub Basin Committees

Develop strategies for nutrient reduction for each sub-basin

Reduce loadings from point sources

Increase assistance to agricultural producers/ businesses for implementation of best management practices


Total n yield delivered to the gulf of mexico
Total N Yield Delivered Compactto the Gulf of Mexico




Information needs for gulf action plan
Information Needs for Gulf Action Plan tributaries (lbs/day/sq.mi.)

  • Quantify Ohio River nutrient loading to the Mississippi over time.

  • Quantify tributary loads for prioritization.

  • Track tributary conditions to assess program effectiveness


Monitoring program design questions
Monitoring Program tributaries (lbs/day/sq.mi.)Design Questions

  • Can current program meet Gulf Action Plan needs?

  • Can resources be shifted away from criteria development?

  • Role of probabalistic design


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