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Nutrient Criteria Development


									  Nutrient Criteria
    Where Region III States Stand

It’s Not Rocket Science….
       …It’s Harder!

              Presented by Mark Barath
Mid-Atlantic NPS/TMDL/WQM/WQS Training Workshop
                   May 13, 2009
   Region III Outlook: Actual Progress – Received and
           Expected Nutrient Criteria Package
State   Rivers    Current      Lakes and    Current          Estuaries    Current       Nutrient Criteria
        and       Progress     Reservoirs   Progress                      Progress      Development:
        Streams                                                                         Original Goal

        2014      Research     2014         Research         DRBC         Completed     2007
DE                                                           Initiative   Chesapeake
                                                                          Bay and
                                                                          Inland Bays
                                                                          in 2004
        2007      Criteria     2006         Criteria         2006         Completed     Criteria
DC                Completed                 Completed                     in 2006       Completed

        2007/8    Data         2009         Chl a Criteria   2007/8       Completed     2008
MD                Analysis                  in 2009 TR                    Chesapeake
                                                                          Bay in 2005
        2009      Research     2009         Research         N.A.         N.A           2009
        2011/12   Research/    2007         Criteria         2005         Completed n   2009
VA                Data                      Completed                     Chesapeake
                  Analysis                                                Bay in 2005
        2010      Research/    2008         Under EPA        N.A.         N.A.          2009
WV                NSTEP Data                Review
Where Region III States Stand

     1. Nutrient TMDLs Cover + 90% of State
         •   D.O. Target used in Model
         •   Rivers/streams not treated separately
         •   TP Screening Range: 0.1 – 0.2 mg/L
         •   TN Screening Range: 1.0 – 3.0 mg/L
     2. Inland Bays
         •   Criteria Final
         •   Pollution Control Strategy in Place
         •   Point discharges to be phased out
         •   TP: 0.01 mg/L (average)
         •   TN: 0.14 mg/L (average)
         •   Water Clarity as TSS: 20 mg/L
Where Region III States Stand
              Delaware (cont.)

      3. Nutrient Criteria Plan
          •    2007 Timeline Not Met
          •    Summer 2008 Update
          •    2014 new completion date
          •    2009 EPA ‘in principle’ Acceptance
Where Region III States Stand
              District of Columbia

    1. All criteria work completed
        •   CBPO recommendations incorporated
            by reference in 2006
        •   No river/streams or lakes criteria
Where Region III States Stand
    1. 2004 NCP Timelines Not Completely Met
        •   Chesapeake Bay completed but not Coastal Bays
             1. 2006 TR WQS incorporated most of CBPO
             2. 2009 TR WQS will be equivalent to other
                Chesapeake Bay partner states.
        •   Proposed 2009 TR WQS includes Drinking Water
            Reservoir Chl a criteria
             1. 0.01 mg/L arithmetic mean as 30-day moving
                average during growing season (05/1-09/30)
             2. 0.03 mg/L as 90th percentile of measurements
                in growing season
        •   Data analysis continues on rivers/streams criteria
    2. New NCP to be submitted in FY 2009
Where Region III States Stand

    1. 2004 NCP Timelines not met
        •   Rivers/Streams research/data analysis
        •   Lakes research/data analysis continues
             1. 2009 Lake Assessment Protocol
                "indicators of possible impairment“
                 •    TP - 0.05 mg/L
                 •    TN - 1.5 mg/L
                 •    Translates to a TSI of 60
                 •    No compatible Chl a indicator
                 •    Unclear on above ‘indicators’ in
                      criteria development
    2. Updated NCP planned for FY 2010
Where Region III States Stand
    1. Chesapeake Bay Criteria approved by EPA in 2005
       and follows CBPO guidance
    2. Lake Criteria approved by EPA in 2007
        •   Cold Water
            i. TP – 0.02 mg/L (median)
            ii. Chl a – 0.025 mg/L (90th percentile)
        •   Warm Water

            i. TP – 0.04 mg/l (median)

            ii. Chl a – 0.035 mg/L (90th percentile)
    1. NCP updated Fall 2008
        •   2011 target for wadeable streams
        •   2012 target for nonwadeable rivers/streams
Where Region III States Stand
                      West Virginia
    1. 2004 NCP not entirely met
        •   Lakes and Reservoirs
            i.   Criteria Adopted by WV Legislator in
            ii. Cool water: TP- 30 µg/L; Chl a-15 µg/L
            iii. Warm water: TP-50 µg/L; Chl a-30 µg/L
            iv. Currently Undergoing EPA Review
        •   Rivers and Streams
            i.   Data analysis on going
            ii. EPA NSTEP analysis ‘inconclusive’
            iii. Watershed specific problems addressed
                 with WWTP nutrient reductions
    2. Revised NCP accepted January 2009
        •   Propose Rivers/Streams criteria to 2009
            Legislator session with 2010 adoption target
Criteria Delaying Factors
1. Inadequate data sets
2. Funding
3. Cause/effect not clear cut
4. Science still evolving
5. Legal issues (TMDLs and lawsuits)
                                  pH        Aquatic
 Nutrients                                   Life
                    Microbial     Habitat    Use
     Light          Growth
Water Chemistry
Conclusions from Recent USGS/ANSP Study
           Kent Crawford, USGS

1. Nutrient concentration was a poor explanatory variable for:

    •    Chlorophyll a
    •    Minimum dissolved oxygen concentrations
    •    Primary productivity

2. Too many variables were unaccounted for:

    •   Antecedent conditions
    •   Micronutrients may be limiting
    •   Light
    •   Grazing
    •   Algal uptake
    •   Standing crop not best measure
Conclusions from Recent USGS/ANSP Study
            Don Charles, ANSP

     1.    All sets of diatom metrics were better indicators of nutrient
          conditions than Chl a, AFDM, primary productivity, and
          variations in dissolved oxygen.

     2.    The two sets of indicators based on USGS NAWQA data
          performed better than the trophic indicator categories based
          primarily on European data.

     3.    For purposes of distinguishing the few nutrient categories,
          the indicators based on the national datset were
          comparable to those based the local dataset. Differences in
          dataset sample size and adequate representation of the
          nutrient gradient are important factors.

     4.    Most of the NAWQA low-TP indicator taxa were rare in
          samples with TP > 50 µg/L
400 Pound Gorillas in the Room?

1. Chesapeake Bay TMDL Tsunami

2. Gulf of Mexico Anoxia Recovery Plan

3. Florida Rule Repercussions
        400 Pound Gorillas in the Room?
        2010 Chesapeake Bay TMDL Significant NPDES
                     Permitees Limits

State    # Sig.        Flow          N limits        P Limits
Pa       213           648 mgd       6 mg/l          0.8 mg/l

Md.      85            676 mgd       4 mg/l          0.3 mg/l

Va.      124           1206 mgd 3-8 mg/l             .18-0.7
DC       1             370 mgd       4.2 mg/l        0.18 mg/l
400 Pound Gorillas in the Room?
        Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia
            Recovery Plan
    400 Pound Gorillas in the Room?

                 Florida Rule

1. January 2009 determination by EPA HQ
2. EPA will promulgate nutrient standards unless
   Florida does so first
    • Rivers/streams and lakes within 12 months
    • Estuary within 24 months
3. EPA and Florida working together on criteria
4. Action was partially driven by lawsuits
5. Other lawsuits waiting in the wing around the
Clean Water Goal?
   Clean Water Goal

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