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Implementing A Section 319 Project During a Time of Regulatory Change The Catoma Creek Story. Alabama Water Resources Association Conference September 2005 Presented by: Sabra Sutton. Background.
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Implementing A Section 319 Project During a Time of Regulatory ChangeThe Catoma Creek Story Alabama Water Resources Association Conference September 2005 Presented by: Sabra Sutton
Background • March 1990 - Fish kills in the backwaters of the Alabama River at the mouth of Catoma Creek blamed on SSOs
Background Cont. • April 1990 - AO issued to MWWSSB • Early 1990’s - MWWSSB completed WQ study • Results showed SSO pollutant contributions minimal compare to NPS/urban runoff
Background Cont. • MWWSSB worked with ADEM to start comprehensive watershed management program to address low DO in Catoma Creek • Mid 1990’s - Technical, Steering and Education/Outreach Committees Formed • 1998 – Completed Watershed Management Plan
Current Status • Funding – MWWSSB primary sponsor, EPA grant in late 1990’s • Today - E/O Committee and Advisory Committee • Approx. 45 stakeholders actively participate at some level • NO FINGER POINTING!
Section 319 Funding • Applied for and approved in 2002 • $450,000 • Primary Grant Partners • MWWSSB (lead) • NRCS • S&WCD • AUM • All participating stakeholders play a role in decision-making process
Implementation Challenges • Evolving Section 319 Guidance from EPA • State law (partners were unaware of until after grant was awarded) • All S&WCD Board members were not informed
Section 319 Guidance • The Draft Proposed Strategy for Strengthening Nonpoint Source ManagementNational Nonpoint Source Program on October 14, 1997 • Funding the Development and Implementation of Watershed Restoration Action Strategies under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act (1998 for FY 1999) • Process and Criteria for Funding State and Territorial Nonpoint Source Management Programs in FY 1999 • Nonpoint Source Program and Grants Guidance for Fiscal Year 1997 and Future Years • Supplemental Guidance for the Award of Section 319 Nonpoint Source Grants in FY 2000
Section 319 Guidance Supplemental Guidelines for the Award of Section 319 Nonpoint Source Grants in FY 2001EPA has developed guidelines for the award of Clean Water Act Section 319 nonpoint source grants in FY 2001. The process and criteria are generally the same as were used in FY 2000 ….. except to the extent that they are specifically modified in these guidelines. Supplemental Guidelines for the Award of Section 319 Nonpoint Source Grants to States and Territories in FY 2002 and Subsequent Years.The process and criteria for FY 2002 are generally the same as for FY 2001, with only slight modifications.
Section 319 Guidance • Modifications to Nonpoint Source Reporting Requirements for Section 319 Grants EPA has modified the reporting requirements for the Clean Water Act Section 319 program, effective for fiscal year 2002. • Supplemental Guidelines for the Award of Section 319 Nonpoint Source Grants to States and Territories in FY 2003.EPA has developed guidelines that describe the process and criteria to be used to award Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 319 nonpoint source grants to States and Territories (hereinafter referred to collectively as "States") in FY 2003. The process and criteria for FY 2003 are similar to those established for FY 2002, but are modified. Stormwater Phase 2
No BMP projects in Phase 1 area (City of Montgomery) Monitoring in Phase 1 area can be used as match 2002 could use $ in Phase 2 area 2003 may not be able to use funding in Phase 2 area Early 2004 could use funding in Phase 2 area because grant was approved before Phase 2 was required 2005 can use 319 in Phase 2 areas if “above-and-beyond” permit requirement Guidance Changes = Program Changes
State Statute Alabama Code Section 22-38-4 Administration of federal funds by committee; transfer of federal funds received by other state agencies to committee; application to Legislature for matching funds; coordination of use of funds. • All federal funds available to state agencies for financial assistance through cost-share grants to landusers for agricultural nonpoint source pollution control shall be administered by the committee. State agencies other than the committee which receive federal cost-share funds designated for use by agricultural operations to control associated nonpoint source pollution shall effect the necessary agreements to transfer these funds to the committee. The committee shall make application to the Legislature for appropriation of state funds required to match such federal funds….. (Acts 1988, No. 88-602, p. 939, §4.)
BMP Funding through S&WCD • Some Challenges • All Board members not supportive initially • Differences between Section 319 different from USDA cost-share programs • Minimal staff at local District, but grant provided opportunity for part-time technician AL Code 319 Guidance
BMP Funding through S&WCD • Many Benefits • Expertise of NRCS Conservationist and S&WCD personnel • Established relationships with local property owners • Able to hire part-time technician
Section 319 Project Goals • Implement on-the-ground management practices and educational programs to minimize low DO/OE problems in Catoma Creek • Monitor and evaluate results of program activities
Fencing Livestock Alternative Watering Sources for Livestock Stream crossings Possible Alternative Shade for Livestock Well (cease withdrawal from the creek) Stream stabilization and restoration BMP Projects Funded
Education/Outreach • Booth at the Alabama National Fair • Planning newsletter articles to educate property owners • Montgomery County Water Festival • Partnering with a high-risk elementary school
Monitoring • Monthly monitoring at BMP and 12 other sites • Using ADEM’s field QA/QC procedures • Biological (fish)
Lessons Learned • In general, everyone wants the same thing….clean water…just different ways/plans to get it • Policy is going to continually evolve • Be prepared and willing to make programmatic adjustments • Don’t be afraid to speak up when something will not work
Lessons Learned cont.. • Accept that there are not enough resources and that everyone has to work together instead of competing against one another • NRCS, S&WCD, City of Montgomery and Catoma Creek Watershed Program • Plan on EVERYTHING taking MUCH longer than expected! • When there is a will there is a way!
Questions? For more information: Sabra Sutton, CH2M HILL- Montgomery firstname.lastname@example.org (334) 271-1444 Ext. 710