WSR 03-05-050

DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY


[ Filed February 13, 2003, 3:40 p.m. ]


Lower Snake River Total Dissolved Gas Draft Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Implementation Plan


Public Comments Invited on TMDL or Water Cleanup Plan: The Washington Department of Ecology (ecology) invites you to provide your comments at a public hearing on the proposed Lower Snake River total maximum daily load (TMDL) and implementation plan for reducing total dissolved gas.

Before the formal public hearing, there will be a brief presentation to learn about the proposed TMDL and implementation plan, followed by an informative question and answer session. This public hearing addresses only the TMDL and the implementation plan that are being submitted to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The hearing is scheduled for: Tuesday, March 25, 2003, at 6:30 p.m., at 1315 West 4th Avenue (off Olympia Street), Ecology Field Office, Kennewick, WA.

Background: The Lower Snake River total dissolved gas TMDL is based on the federal Clean Water Act, state water quality standards, the dissolved gas abatement study conducted by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Marine Fisheries Service's 2000 biological opinion for the Federal Columbia River power system. The TMDL/implementation plan identifies strategies for reducing total dissolved gas in the Lower Snake River - from the Idaho border to its confluence with the Columbia River.

Federal law requires cleanup of polluted waters: Federal law requires states to identify sources of pollution in waters that fall short of water quality standards, and to determine how much pollution needs to be reduced for the water body to remain healthy. Using the source and allocation information, ecology and regional interests develop strategies for achieving the necessary reduction or elimination of pollution. The result is a water cleanup plan or total maximum daily load (TMDL) which identifies the allowable pollution levels from various sources. In the Snake River, TDG levels exceed the state of Washington's standards. This TMDL provides target levels and an implementation plan to reduce TDG to acceptable levels.

Public Comment Period: Ecology will review and consider all relevant comments received during the public comment period. Following this review, the TMDL and implementation plan may be modified. When complete, the TMDL will be sent to EPA for approval. You will be notified of ecology's final decision if you present either oral or written comments during the comment period. If you do not comment but wish to receive notification of ecology's final decision, please call or write Ann Butler at the address below.

The public comment period on the plan is February 24 through April 4, 2003.

Please address your comments on the draft TMDL and implementation plan by April 4, 2003, to Ann Butler, Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600, anbu461@ecy.wa.gov, phone (360) 407-6480, or fax (360) 407-6426.

The TMDL/implementation plan is also available for examination and copying at Ecology's Headquarters Office, 300 Desmond Drive S.E., Lacey, WA 98503, or at Ecology Field Office in Kennewick (see above hearing location). Documents are also available on ecology's website at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/biblio/0303020.html.

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