PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD ON THE TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOAD (TMDL) STRATEGY FOR REDUCING WATER TEMPERATURE IN THE UPPER CHEHALIS RIVER
Water temperatures in many areas of the Upper Chehalis River Watershed (upstream from Porter) have become too warm during the dry summer months to sustain all the expected life-cycle stages of cold water fish, including salmon, steelhead, and trout.
This is a violation of state water quality standards. When this occurs, the Federal Clean Water Act requires that the state develop strategies called total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) to reverse these conditions and restore water temperatures to levels that will sustain the cold water fish that still survive in the Upper Chehalis River system.
In 1999 the Department of Ecology developed a TMDL for reducing water temperature in the Upper Chehalis River. The TMDL was presented for public comment, and submitted to EPA. Technical issues raised during review resulted in changes to the original TMDL and its recommendations. The changes are substantial enough that ecology is asking for additional public review and comment before submitting the TMDL to EPA for final approval.
The primary changes in the current draft are:
|•||Adjustments to the waste load allocations for point source discharges, resulting in lower temperature limits for some municipalities and industries that discharge into the river; and|
|•||Changes in the section of the TMDL 'summary implementation strategy' that discusses requirements of the Washington state forest practices regulations.|
For more information call Dave Rountry at (360) 407-6276.