WSR 02-20-087

DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY


[ Filed October 1, 2002, 11:04 a.m. ]


CALL FOR DATA

FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF WATER QUALITY FOR

THE 303(d) LIST OF POLLUTED WATERS



The Water Quality Program of the Department of Ecology (ecology) is seeking new water quality data from the public to be used for placing polluted waters on the state's 303(d) list of impaired lakes, rivers, and bays.

Section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act requires Washington state periodically to prepare a list of all surface waters in the state for which beneficial uses of the water, such as for drinking, recreation, aquatic habitat, and industrial use, are impaired by pollutants. This list was last prepared in 1998. Ecology is now preparing the 2002 list. Ecology's assessment of which waters to place on the 303(d) list is guided by federal laws, state water quality standards, and the state's recently updated 303(d) policy.

The 303(d) list is based on all readily available data from both public and private sources. This means ecology will accept data collected by academic institutions, businesses, not-for-profit groups, tribes, quasi-governmental agencies such as watershed planning councils, and private citizens, in addition to data from federal, state, and local government agencies.

Ecology is seeking new data right now, during a sixty-day "call for data" period. If any data was submitted to ecology previously, either for earlier 303(d) lists or other reasons, it does not need to be submitted again.

To submit water quality data, please e-mail it to 303d@ecy.wa.gov, or send the data to 303(d) Data Submittal, Steve Butkus, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.

More details about the 303(d) process, including assistance with submitting data and a copy of the updated 303(d) policy, can be found at www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/303d/index.html.

The call for data officially starts on October 16, 2002. The deadline for submitting data is 5:00 p.m., Monday, December 16, 2002.

Submittal of data in electronic format is much preferred. The most preferred format would be if the data are compatible with ecology's environmental information management database. Data received in this format will be most easily available for future users. Otherwise, a flat file, such as a spreadsheet, is preferred over a relational database. Information in paper hard copy also will be accepted.

Ecology can use only high quality data for the 303(d) assessment. All data submitted must have been collected in accordance with a quality assurance plan. The person submitting the data must document that such a plan was followed, and must provide ecology with a copy of the plan if requested. More details about quality assurance plans, and a form for documenting that such a plan was followed, can be found at the website above.

To ask any questions about the 303(d) assessment process or for further assistance in submitting data, please contact Matthew Green, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600, e-mail 303d@ecy.wa.gov, phone (360) 407-6386.

September 30, 2002

Megan White, P.E.

Program Manager

Water Quality Program

Washington State Code Reviser's Office