WSR 01-04-071

DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY


[ Filed February 6, 2001, 2:40 p.m. ]


JANUARY 30, 2001

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.
You are invited to comment on this draft TMDL and its recommendations through March 16, 2001. Please submit comments to Dave Rountry, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47775, Olympia, WA 98504-7775, or e-mail drou461@ecy.wa.gov. You can review the draft Upper Chehalis River Basin Temperature TMDL on the Internet at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/tmdl/tmdls-review.html. There are also hard copies available for review at the Centralia Timberland Library, 110 South Silver Street, and at the Olympia Timberland Library, 313 8th Avenue S.E.

For more information call Dave Rountry at (360) 407-6276.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office