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The Clean Water Act and Water Quality Monitoring. Evolution of the Clean Water Act. 1890 Rivers and Harbors Act prohibited discharges of filth and pollutants that could impede navigation into the nation’s waters 1899 Refuse Act protected navigable waterways from pollution

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Presentation Transcript
slide2

Evolution of the Clean Water Act

  • 1890 Rivers and Harbors Act
  • prohibited discharges of filth and pollutants that could impede navigation into the nation’s waters
  • 1899 Refuse Act
  • protected navigable waterways from pollution
  • 1948 Federal Water Pollution Control Act
  • assist states, municipalities, and interstate agencies in constructing treatment plants to prevent discharges of inadequately treated sewage and other wastes into interstate waters or tributaries
slide3

Evolution of the Clean Water Act

  • 1956 Federal Water Pollution Control Act
  • pollution studies
    • construction of local sewage plants
  • 1965 Water Quality Act
    • first federal water quality standards program
  • 1966 Clean Water Restoration Act
    • increased federal involvement
    • limited to interstate waters
    • 1970 Creation of EPA/Water Quality Improvement Act
  • prohibitions on discharges of oil; classification of substances other than oil as toxic
slide4

Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972

  • “To restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the nation’s water”
  • protected interstate and intrastate waters, including lakes, rivers, streams, estuaries and wetlands
  • outlined procedures for State issuance of water quality standards
  • limitations determined for point sources which are consistent with State water quality standards
slide5

Clean Water Act of 1977

  • Development of a "Best Management Practices" Program
  • Completion of National Wetlands Inventory by December 31, 1981
  • Authority for the Corps of Engineers to issue general permits on a state, regional, or national basis for any category of activities
  • Exemption of various activities from the dredge and fill prohibition including normal farming, silviculture, and ranching activities
slide6

1987 Water Quality Act Amendments

  • nonpoint source control provisions
  • improved stormwater management practices
  • tightened controls on point sources
  • prohibited dumping at waterside industrial facilities
  • added Section 518, which authorized EPA to treat federally recognized Indian Tribes as States for certain provisions of the Act
  • beginning of state revolving water pollution control funds (SRF)
slide7

How does the Clean Water Act Work?

Goals

Discharge Permits

“To restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the nation’s water”

Prohibit the discharge of toxic pollutants in toxic amount

slide8

The Clean Water Act: NPDES

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System

  • Clean Water Act’s primary “point source” control program
  • Point sources are defined as “any discernible, confined, and discrete conveyance" of pollutants to a water body
  • Discrete conveyance includes, but is not limited to, "any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, concentrated animal feeding operation, landfill leachate collection system, vessel or other floating craft from which pollutants are or may be discharged."
  • The Act provides one major exception to the point source definition: it specifically excludes "return flows from irrigated agriculture or agricultural storm water runoff." This exempts many but by no means all agricultural activities from the NPDES program.)
slide9

The Clean Water Act

Goals

  • The EPA has delegated primary NPDES responsibility in most states to a state pollution control agency. (e.g. Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality)
  • Exceptions include Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Pacific Territories.

Discharge Permits

Enforcement

  • Section 304
  • List of permitted discharges, key permits and summaries of discharge monitoring reports
  • Permittees must monitor the quality of their discharges and determine if they have exceeded limits
  • Permittees must submit regular Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs) to the state

Monitoring

slide10

The Clean Water Act

Goals

Water Quality Standards

Water Quality Standards

“A water quality standard defines the water quality goals of a water body, or portion thereof, by designating the use or uses to be made of the water and by setting criteria necessary to protect public health or welfare, enhance the quality of water and serve the purposes of the Clean Water Act.”

Discharge Permits

Enforcement

Monitoring

slide11

Water Quality Standards

established by states, districts, territories and tribes consist of three basic components:

DESIGNATED USES

WATER QUALITY CRITERIA

ANTIDEGRADATION REQUIREMENTS

slide12

Water Quality Standards

Designated Uses

  • Those uses specified by Water Quality Standards for each water body or segment whether or not they are being attained
  • Designated Uses in Wyoming Include: agriculture, fisheries, industry, drinking water, recreation, scenic value, aquatic life other than fish, wildlife, fish consumption
slide13

Wyoming Water Use Classes

CLASS 1: OUTSTANDING WATERS

CLASS 2: FISHERIES AND DRINKING WATERS

Class 2AB: drinking supplies, nongame fisheries, fish consumption, aquatic life other than fish, primary contact recreation, wildlife, industry, agriculture and scenic value uses.

Class 2A: drinking supplies, aquatic life other than fish, primary contact recreation, wildlife, industry, agriculture and scenic value

Class 2B: game and non game fisheries, fish consumption, aquatic life other than fish, primary contact recreation, wildlife, industry, agriculture and scenic value

Class 2C: nongame fisheries, fish consumption, aquatic life other than fish, primary contact recreation, wildlife, industry, agriculture, and scenic value

CLASS 3: AQUATIC LIFE OTHER THAN FISH

Class 3A: isolated waters not know to support fish populations or drinking water supplies

Class 3B: intermittent and ephemeral streams with sufficient hydrology to normally support and sustain communities of aquatic life

Class 3C: perennial streams without the natural water quality to support fish or drinking water supplies but do not support wetland characteristics

CLASS 4: AGRICULTURE, INDUSTRY, RECREATION AND WILDLIFE

Class 4A: artificial canals and ditches that are not known to support fish populations

Class 4B: infrequent wetland occurrences and impoundments

Class 4C: effluent dominated streams

slide14

Wyoming Class A Waters

Class A:

All waters located within National Parks and Congressionally designated Wilderness Areas

The main stem of the Snake River above Highway 22 (Wilson Bridge)

The main stem of the Green River, including the Green River Lakes from the mouth of the New Fork River upstream to the wilderness boundary

The main stem of the Wind River from the Wedding of the Waters upstream to Boysen Dam

The main stem of the North Platte River from the mouth of Sage Creek (approximately 15 miles downstream of Saratoga, WY) upstream to the CO border

The main stem of the North Platte River from the headwaters of Pathfinder Reservoir to Kortes Dam (Miracle Mile Segment)

The main stem of the North Platte River from the Natrona County Road 309 bridge (Goose Egg Bridge) upstream to Alcova Reservoir

The main stem of Sand Creek above the U.S. Highway 14 Bridge

The main stem of the Middle Fork of the Powder River through its entire length above the mouth of Buffalo Creek

The main stem of the Tongue River, the main stem of the North Fork of the Tongue River, and the main stem of the South Fork of the Tongue River above the U.S. Forest Service Bdry

The main stem of the Sweetwater River above the mouth of Alkali Creek

The main stem of the Encampment River from the northern U.S. Forest Service boundary upstream to the CO state line

The main stem of the Clark’s Fork River from the U.S. Forest Service boundary upstream to the Montana state line

All waters within Fish Creek Drainage (near Wilson, WY)

The main stem of Granite Creek (tributary Hoback River) through its entire length

Fremont Lake

Wetlands adjacent to above Class 1 waters

slide15

Water Quality Standards

established by states, districts, territories and tribes consist of three basic components:

DESIGNATED USES

WATER QUALITY CRITERIA

ANTIDEGRADATION REQUIREMENTS

slide16

Water Quality Standards

Water Quality Criteria

  • What Physical, Biological and Chemical Data should be collected to protect the existing uses of waters?
  • “States must adopt those water quality criteria that protect the designated use. For waters with multiple use designations, the criteria shall support the most sensitive use.”
      • 40 CFR 131.11(a)(1)
slide17

Water Quality Standards

Water Quality Criteria

Chemical

pH, dissolved oxygen, metals, toxic contaminants

Biological

Macroinvertebrates, periphyton, bacteria,riparian vegetation

Physical

Temperature, sediment, discharge, entrenchment, substrates

slide18

Water Quality Standards

WY Water Quality Criteria

slide19

Water Quality Standards

Dissolved Oxygen Water Quality Criteria

  • Water column concentrations recommended to achieve required inter-gravel dissolved oxygen concentrations shown in parentheses. For species that have early life stages exposed directly to the water column, figures in parentheses apply
  • Includes all embryonic and larval stages and all juvenile forms to 30 days following hatching
  • NA (not applicable)
  • All minima should be considered an instantaneous concentrations to be achieved at all times.

Cold Water Game Fish:

bass, catfish and bullhead, crappie, freshwater drum, grayling, burbot, pike, yellow perch, sturgeon, sunfish, trout, salmon, char, walleye and sauger and whitefish.

Warm Water Game Fish:

bass, catfish and bullhead, crappie, yellow perch, sunfish, walleye and sauger, pike, sturgeon and freshwater frum

slide20

Water Quality Standards

established by states, districts, territories and tribes consist of three basic components:

DESIGNATED USES

WATER QUALITY CRITERIA

ANTIDEGRADATION REQUIREMENTS

slide21

Water Quality Standards

Antidegradation

Water uses in existence on or after November 28, 1975 and the level of water quality necessary to protect those uses shall be maintained and protected

Those surface waters not designated as Class 1, but whose quality is better than the standards contained in these regulations, shall be maintained at that higher quality

Designated uses may be revised, raised or added through a Use Attainability Analysis (UAA)

slide24

The Clean Water Act

Healthy Waters

Goals

Water Quality Standards

Monitoring

"Impaired waters" and "threatened waters" are waters that do not meet or are not expected to meet water quality standards

Discharge Permits

Impaired and Threatened Waters

Enforcement

Impaired and threatened waters are to be placed on the state 303(d) list

Monitoring

Updated every two years after reviewing all existing and readily-available data

slide25

305(b) Report

  • State’s primary regular assessment of water quality
  • Occurs every two years
  • Provides a basis for identifying problems, setting priorities and developing management plans and programs
slide26

Section 319

Reports on Nonpoint Source Projects

Provides grant money for projects to reduce pollution from nonpoint (diffuse) sources.

Reports on 319 projects contain information about water quality problems in your area and past, present or planned corrective actions

slide27

The Clean Water Act

Healthy Waters

Goals

Water Quality Standards

Monitoring

Discharge Permits

Impaired and Threatened Waters

Enforcement

Monitoring

Watershed Protection Plans

slide28

Watershed Management Plans

  • identify what is causing a threat or impairment to the watercourse
  • determine how to clean up and restore the water body
  • may also develop a TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load)
slide29

The Clean Water Act

Healthy Waters

Goals

Water Quality Standards

Monitoring

Discharge Permits

Impaired and Threatened Waters

Adjustments to Permits and Activities

Enforcement

Monitoring

Monitoring

Watershed Protection Plans

Waters Still

Impaired

slide30

The Future of the Clean Water Act

Clean Water Act programs have been developed to meet these goals, and because the programs are implemented primarily at the state level, citizen involvement becomes the most critical part of making the programs work well.

This is especially true in a state like Wyoming, where state resources are limited and most residents are skeptical of government actions

slide31

What can you do?

  • Monitor your local watercourses
  • Make sure waterbodies have been properly assigned designated uses
  • Make sure that the water quality criteria meets the assigned
    • designated uses
  • Use your data to educate your community about the health of your
    • watercourses
  • Talk with landowners, Conservation Districts, companies, Game and
    • Fish Officers, Department of Environmental Quality staff, etc. about your concerns
  • Work with these stakeholders to develop ways to improve your
    • watercourses
collect information on your watershed
Collect Information on Your Watershed
  • National Water Quality Inventory 305(b). Organized by state, information how each waterbody measures against its water quality standards http://www.epa.gov/305b
  • Compare 305(b)information to the list of threatened and impaired waters 303 in your area
  • Obtain TMDL information for your watershed, it can be valuable to your monitoring and restoration work
  • Review state assessments and management plans of nonpoint pollution problems.
  • Wyoming’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) is 8 million for 2008. Find out what pollution abatement projects are going on in the state by looking at the “Intended Use Plans, and past annual reports http://www.rivernetwork.org/cleanwater/cwa_search.asp
designing a monitoring program
Designing a Monitoring Program
  • Develop information needs, data use and rationale for the program
  • Technical Design: Choose indicators, methods, sites and schedule
  • Information Design: establish how you will mange, analyze, and report the data
  • Evaluation Design: determine how you will assess the effectiveness of the program
slide34

Water is the most critical resource issue of our lifetime and our children's lifetime. The health of our waters is the principle measure of how we live on the land. -- Luna Leopold