[env-trinity] Funding so far saved for North Coast water quality work

Josh Allen jallen at trinitycounty.org
Thu Jun 14 13:43:39 PDT 2007


Funding so far saved for North Coast water quality work

The Times-Standard

Article Launched: 06/14/2007 04:17:01 AM PDT

 

http://times-standard.com/local/ci_6138701 

The Budget Conference Committee of the state Legislature has come to an
agreement that so far preserves funding to help with North Coast water
quality issues. 

The compromise arose out of a proposal from Assemblywoman Noreen Evans,
D-Santa Rosa. 

"We need to accelerate the development of water quality standards,"
Evans said. "Delays have occurred because of staff shortages. We need to
help the regional board help us. That's what this funding is about." 

The conference committee works to resolve differences between the
budgets passed by each house of the Legislature before the budget is
subject to a vote. 

It moved to provide the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board
with two additional staff for three years to develop clean water
standards for waterways protected under the federal Clean Water Act.
This was a compromise -- the original Assembly proposal called for five
additional staff members. 

"The state needs to put more resources towards the development of water
quality standards," Evans adds. "Public health, environmental
protection, and municipal discharges all depend on the development of
these standards." 

Within the regional board's jurisdiction, 47 waterways are protected
under the federal Clean Water Act due to nutrient and pollutant
concentrations. 

The regional board is tasked with developing concentration standards for
these waterways, called total maximum daily loads, or TMDLs. There are
85 individual TMDLs scheduled for completion but only 29 have been
completed. 

Water quality standards are established on a watershed basis and cover
an entire watershed for all listed pollutants. The process to create
them is lengthy from start to finish. The ultimate TMDL, usually
enumerated as parts per million, is a baseline for watershed management.


Evans said she secured the funding with the help of the Laguna de Santa
Rosa Foundation, among other local groups, along with the help of state
Sen. Pat Wiggins, D-Santa Rosa, among others. 

Various stems of the Eel River, Elk River, Freshwater Creek, Klamath
River, Humboldt Bay, Jacoby Creek, Mad River, Trinity River and Van
Duzen River are listed on the regional board's TMDL project list.

 

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