Water Quality Task Force Meeting
UMRBA/US EPA Region 5
*Attended first day only.
†Attended first day only, participated by phone second day.
Call to Order and Introductions
The meeting of the Water Quality Task Force (WQTF) was called to order at by Gregg Good. Good provided an overview of the WQTF meeting and noted that the WQTF members would be attending a meeting of the National Research Council (NRC) as a large portion of the first day’s agenda. Introductions of all in attendance followed.
Interstate 305(b) Assessment and 303(d) Listing Consultation
Good reported that
Mohsen Dkhili indicated that Missouri’s Clean Water
Commission had approved the state’s 2008 303(d) list, but no response on the
list had yet been received from US EPA Region 7 on the 2008 list (though the
combined 2004-2006 list had recently been approved). Dkhili noted that the 2008 list as submitted
to US EPA does not include any impairments for the UMR. He added that
Marvin Hora reported that Minnesota’s 2008 303(d) list had
been approved by US EPA Region 5 and that the state’s draft 2010 list should be
available soon. Hora anticipated that
the process should allow for
In preparation for the 2010 list, Hora indicated that
Shepard asked what benchmark level
Short asked whether PFOS or other PFC impairments are likely for other UMR pools. Hora replied that Pool 2 is the only pool where an impairment has been identified to date. Further, Hora indicated that the Pool 2 PFOS impairment is the only UMR impairment listing that appears subject to potential change for the 2010 303(d) list.
Hora indicated that
Jim Baumann indicated that
Baumann also reported that John Sullivan (WI DNR) has been
seeing some of the greatest water clarity in recent history downstream of
Olson reported that
Olson highlighted that the 2008 list submitted to US EPA had
removed the aluminum impairment for the reach between the
Olson noted that
Good asked US EPA staff whether they had any perspectives to offer regarding the assessment and listing consultation. Bill Franz did not offer any further comments from US EPA Region 5. Shepard indicated that he did not have comments from an assessment/listing perspective, but did observe from a NEPA perspective the issue of metals and legacy contaminants being the primary causes for impairment listings on the UMR – as opposed to nutrients, sediment, or habitat impairment – which are issues more commonly identified as challenges to the health of the UMR in non-CWA venues. Olson re-iterated that the incorporation of 304(a) metals criteria is only going to add to the predominance of metals-related impairments.
Hora asked whether any other states had provisions for
“natural condition” in their rules.
Dkhili indicated that
Shepard asked whether all the states now do an integrated 303(d)/305(b) report. All states replied that they do produce an integrated report. Shepard further asked whether, even with an integrated report, a waterbody could be considered “impaired” for 305(b) purposes, but not for 303(d) purposes. Good indicated that such distinctions existed and were made within the integrated report. The other states concurred with this perspective.
Hora reported that MPCA is
developing a draft TMDL for
§ Eutrophication: 100 μg/l total phosphorous; 32 μg/l chlorophyll-a; and 0.8 m Secchi transparency.
§ Suspended Solids/Submersed Aquatic Vegetation: 32 mg/l total suspended solids (summer average, as measured at Lock & Dam 2 and Lock & Dam 3); 21% SAV occurrence frequency (for main channel border, measured using EMAP sampling approach).
Hora explained that MPCA is also considering site-specific
criteria for areas beyond
Baumann asked if there was an established timeline for the approval of the site specific standards. Hora replied that it could happen “anytime.” Peg Donnelly asked whether the standards had gone out for public notice yet. Hora replied that they had not yet been put out for public notice.
Shepard asked what ambient total phosphorous levels are
Hora indicated that MPCA is still working on the process for Lake Pepin TMDL implementation plan, and it is not clear how US EPA will react to plans to aggregate load over tributaries. He ended his remarks by emphasizing the scale of challenges presented by the Lake Pepin TMDL.
Baumann next offered comments on the Lake Pepin TMDL from
Baumann further observed that the 100 μg/l total phosphorous site specific standard being proposed by MPCA for Lake Pepin was actually in line with what Wisconsin has proposed using for its own intrastate rivers – indicating that perhaps Lake Pepin is acting more like a river in terms of nutrients.
Baumann also noted that MPCA is looking at applying
site-specific standards in other UMR impoundments, and is considering criteria
of approximately 30 μg/l chlorophyll-a and 100-120 μg/l total
phosphorous. Hora confirmed that MPCA is
working to have nutrient criteria in place for UMR pools 2 through 8 by
2011. Garretson asked if MPCA was
Dkhili asked whether an impairment using the site specific
criteria would require a failure to meet both criteria or just one. Hora replied that an impairment would be
identified only if both criteria were not met, though he acknowledge that this
approach could raise “independent applicability” issues. Baumann mentioned that this may prove to be
a challenge for
Hora indicated that beyond just the
Other State Updates
Good noted that
Olson commented that US EPA Region 7 is still working on the
arsenic TMDL for
Olson also reported on recent Region 7 TMDL meeting, held in August 2009. He indicated that topics of focus at this meeting included nutrient criteria and TMDLs, as well as MS4 and CSO discussions relating to individual vs. general permits.
Olson also indicated that
Franz noted that US EPA will be hosting a workshop for POTWs
Short reported that the next meeting of the UMRCC-Water Quality Tech Section would be likely be held in October 2009, and that more information would be coming regarding the scheduling of this meeting.
Visions of a Sustainable
Good gave a brief report on this conference, which was held
Garretson noted that WQEC members (Rob Morrison and Marcia
Willlhite) and UMRBA staff (Hokanson and Barb Naramore) had participated in a
discussion with the Collaborative during their most recent meeting, held
Garretson also reported that the collaborative is completing
its report which reviewed water quality standards in all 10 states adjacent to
At this point in the
meeting, all participants departed to attend the meeting of the National
Research Council Panel “Clean Water Act Implementation Across the
US EPA Region 7 Nutrient Survey of the UMR and Tributaries
Shepard presented a summary of recent nutrient monitoring
conducted on tributaries to the
Shepard characterized this sampling project as effort to compile information to “ground truth” assumptions about nutrient levels and contributions, and to do so in a fairly quick, efficient, and inexpensive manner. He indicated that this sampling would be done in three different seasonal rounds – spring, summer, and fall – and that the information he was discussing was just from the spring sampling event.
Shepard described the sampling method as primarily shore-based, using apparatus that allowed samples to be collected 2 meters from shore at 1 meter of depth. He did note that, in one case, results from samples collected via this method were compared to results from boat-based sample – and that the methods gave similar results. Shepard next distributed a set of maps displaying results for total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and chlorophyll-a from the spring sampling.
Garretson and Franz asked what the location of the
Olson noted that it would be important to look at flow measurements for the days the samples were taken. Shepard agreed and indicated that this would be part of the followup work on this effort. Franz asked if the maps presented by Shepard could be shared electronically. Shepard replied that this was possible, but that all should keep in mind that these results summaries are just draft at this point.
Good asked whether Region 7 was planning to repeat the sampling beyond this year. Shepard replied that it was Region 7’s intent to repeat this sampling. Good also asked why Region 5 did not participate in the project. Franz responded that staffing cuts had lead to Region 5’s decision not to participate, but that he was interested in sharing this information within Region 5 to promote future participation.
Hora and Baumann indicated that their states do this type of tributary nutrient monitoring on a monthly basis. Short concurred and added that there is a lot of existing data to which the Region 7 results could be compared.
Good asked whether Shepard could provide a similar update to the WQTF at its next meeting, which would cover the results of the summer and fall monitoring. Shepard replied that this should be possible.
Finally, Shepard commented that the presence of nutrient
levels such as those observed in this project could contribute to concerns
previously expressed by
Reach Objective-Setting Process
Leo Keller of the Corps of Engineers’ Rock Island District provided an update regarding the Corps’ ongoing work to establish ecosystem goals at the geomorphic reach level for the UMR. He began by describing the relationship between the establishment of objectives (and goals) to management actions, including monitoring and project selection, in the Corps’ restoration programs. Keller also emphasized the Corps’ openness to working with Clean Water Act (CWA) programs in the objective-setting process.
Keller next described the different spatial scales at which goals and objectives can be set for the UMR, noting that the current effort is focused on the geomorphic river reach level. He then showed maps displaying the UMR system floodplain reaches (Upper Impounded, Lower Impounded, Unimpounded, and Illinois River) and the 12 geomorphic UMR system reaches used by the Corps in the objective-setting effort (10 on the UMR main stem and 2 on the Illinois River as described in a report by WEST Consultants in 2000).
Keller described the relationship between the floodplain
reaches, the river geomorphic reaches, and the minimum interstate CWA
assessment reaches, noting the “crosswalk” document that has been developed to
compare these reaches. He noted that the
idea of potentially harmonizing the reaches used by the Corps in
objective-setting and the states in Clean Water Act assessments had been raised
during the most recent UMRBA quarterly meetings in August 2009. Hokanson concurred with Keller’s comment and
indicated that the issue had been raised by Jim Fischer of Wisconsin
Hokanson asked the WQTF if they were interested in possibility of greater harmonization between the objective-setting and Clean Water Act reaches. The WQTF generally expressed an interest, and Good said that assumptions should not be made going into the discussion about which set of reaches might potentially be manipulated. Keller indicated that he would convey this interest back to staff within the Corps.
Keller next described how objectives within reaches are grouped by the following essential ecosystem characteristics – geomorphology, water quality & biogeochemistry, hydrology & hydraulics, habitats and biota. He also provided an outline of the “Reach Objectives Reports” that are being developed for each UMR system floodplain reach and described the components of the 4 year planning cycle under the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP). Keller additionally described how reach objectives will help inform restoration project identification and sequencing.
Keller provided a general schedule for reach planning efforts over the next several months, noting the following:
§ The river teams (FWWG, FWIC, RRAT and Illinois WG) will be meeting and working on reach planning over the period of August to November 2009.
The only river team meeting scheduled so far is
that of the Fish and Wildlife Interagency Committee (FWIC) which will take
place September 15th in
Draft reach plans will be submitted to the river
teams in December 2009 and then sent to the Environmental Management Program
Coordinating Committee (
In closing, Keller directed any additional questions on reach planning to Dan Wilcox and Chuck Theiling with Corps.
Baumann expressed interest in engaging in the Corps’ process, but indicated that it was difficult to determine where exactly water quality perspectives would plug in. Shepard commented that there would be value in participating in the process and using it as means to tap into all the work the Corps has done in researching the UMR.
Hokanson noted that the WQEC has been asked to consider representation to the objective-setting meetings, but was waiting for further information from the Corps in order to make such recommendations. He continued by asking the WQTF whether they saw others in their agency that would be likely to take on this role or whether it was most likely that the WQTF members would be both the best and most likely candidates. The WQTF members responded that they were both the most likely and most appropriate individuals to participate in the process.
Baumann asked the group whether this engagement is something that would be done by the WQTF as a whole or whether individual agencies/WQTF members would make decisions regarding their participation. All were in agreement that participation would be determined by individual agencies/WQTF members.
Biological Indicators for the UMR
Hokanson reviewed the “next steps” excerpt of the recent biological indicators workshop report and asked the group if they had any comments or preferences in regard to these potential next steps.
Hokanson continued by noting that the ad hoc workgroup, if
it was pursued, could be seen as a mechanism to help facilitate the
implementation of some of the other, more task-specific recommendations. He reported that the UMRBA had endorsed the
idea of an ad hoc workgroup and asked UMRBA staff to work with the WQEC, NECC,
Franz commented that if there is an ongoing ad hoc group it would need to have a connection at the managerial level. Short concurred, indicating that there are both science and policy components to work on indicators. Good asked Hokanson what the intended function of the group was. Hokanson replied that its functions would be to provide a forum for the ongoing discussion of how condition goals are set within programs, to provide leadership across programs in the development of biological indicators, and to help make decisions regarding the timing and allocation of resources to various UMR biological indicator-related efforts including the other possible next steps described in the report.
Shepard questioned the value of establishing a new work group, both given the limited amount of time/resources available to participate in such a group and the existence of other forums where these topics could potentially be addressed, such as the reach objective-setting process. Olson concurred, indicating that he felt it would be preferable to first better understand what could be gained in the reach objective-setting process before creating a new work group. Shepard re-emphasized the potential benefit of plugging into the Corps’ planning processes.
The meeting adjourned for the day at 5:30 p.m. on September 1, 2009 and reconvened at 8 a.m. on September 2, 2009.
604(b) Project Status
Proposal Status in States
Discussion of the 604(b) project began with an update of the status of the proposal within each of the states’ grant processes.
Good reported that
Hora reported that
take a couple months to reach the contract step.
Dkhili did not have a specific status update, but Hokanson
noted that an application had been submitted by UMRBA on August 31 in response
Olson asked Hokanson to provide comment on
Baumann indicated that
Good asked the group if, in general, it could be assumed that 604(b) funding would be in place in the range of a few weeks to two months. The WQTF members indicated concurrence with this assumption.
RFP for Biological Assessment Guidance
Hokanson commented that, given the status of the proposal within the states, it was timely to begin considering how to craft a request for proposal under the biological assessment component of the 604(b) project. He indicated that although both state and federal grant conditions may ultimately create some constraints on the contracting process, the WQTF at this point should seek to express what it wants to achieve in the project via the RFP, and that UMRBA would assure that all the terms and conditions of the agreements were met in establishing a contract.
The WQTF members asked Hokanson if there were any examples to follow in creating the RFP. Hokanson provided a copy of the RFP distributed by UMRBA in 2004 for work on the fish consumption and sediment criteria projects. He added that this RFP had also been at least in part modeled from RFPs used by MPCA.
Short commented that the RFP should include the following as components of the guidance:
1) IBI selection.
2) Endpoint target.
3) Sampling methodology.
Good asked Short if he thought bugs (macroinvertebrates) should be addressed in the guidance. Short replied that fish and macroinvertebrates should definitely be addressed in the guidance.
The WQTF discussed the emphasis that should be made in the RFP on specific biota to investigate vs. leaving the RFP more open and letting proposal applicants address the issue of which biota to pursue. The consensus of the group seemed to be to provide an emphasis on fish and marcoinvertebrates, while leaving openness to other biota, including vegetation. Vegetation was not identified for specific emphasis due to the fact that it may be limited in geographic applicability.
Franz suggested that Ed Hammer of US EPA be asked to review the RFP. Hora indicated that he would provide UMRBA with examples of biological assessment RFPs that had been produced by MPCA. Garretson indicated that she would check with the Collaborative for any recommendations on RFP recipients. Franz and Shepard indicated that if proposals indicated a need for greater resources to complete the desired work, that US EPA might be able to provide additional funding.
Good proposed that a draft RFP be provided to the WQTF by October 1 and that the RFP be finalized by November 1.
Hokanson asked the group for examples of who, setting any procedural or logistical limitations aside, they would like to see contracted to do this work. Olson replied that it would need to be a contractor with experience not only on the scientific side but also with working in a water quality standards framework.
Donnelly suggested that different indices of biotic integrity (IBIs) might need to be employed to match differing conditions in the UMR. Short replied that one IBI could potentially be used throughout the UMR and that expectations for the IBI score would simply need to be adjusted for differing reaches. Hokanson commented that EMAP work suggested that only two fish IBIs were need to cover the UMR (i.e, one for impounded and one for unimpounded reaches), so one possible scenario would involve two different IBIs for the UMR with expectations calibrated to match each assessment reach.
Hora asked whether the RFP could convey the sense that the contractor is the leader of state workgroup on the effort. Good replied that he assumed that this would be an expectation of the contractor – that they would work with a designated work group, which could be the WQTF or different group of experts identified by the WQTF.
Short recommended that the RFP should emphasize the application of existing IBIs and not the creation of new IBIs. Olson concurred, but added that there may be a need to adapt existing IBIs for application on the UMR.
Good proposed the following timeline for completion of the RFP and contractor selection:
§ Draft RFP to the WQTF by October 1st.
§ Review and discussion of RFP by WQTF via October conference call.
§ Final RFP by November 1st, followed by distribution of RFP, with 45-60 day for contractor response.
§ Review and discussion of applications at January 2010 WQTF meeting.
§ Contractor selection by January 2010.
Donnelly commented that ARRA conditions may need to be reflected in the RFP. Hora noted that federal and state conditions would likely be additive, so that all would have to be met. Hokanson replied that UMRBA would review and meet state and federal grant conditions.
Hora observed that the funding level for the biological
assessment component may not be sufficient to fund the desired work. He further suggested that
Designated Use Project
Project Report/First Year Report
Donnelly began her report by highlighting the proposed content of the project report as described in the handout provided to the WQTF, indicating that she was seeking feedback on this outline. Short asked what level of detail was anticipated in Section 1c on the states’ CWA approaches. Hora suggested that this could be a fairly succinct update of what has changed or what is new since the publications of the UMRBA’s report on state CWA approaches in 2004.
Hora asked what would be included in Section 2a regarding the motivation for examining use designations on the UMR. Hokanson replied that he expected that this section would highlight driving forces as: 1) greater consistency in use designations, leading to more consistency in CWA outcomes such as impairment lists, 2) providing better definition of the expectations for aquatic life use in the UMR – and that these definitions would fit better with biological metrics, 3) developing uses that address expectations for off-channel areas of the UMR, and 4) improving the ability to communicate about use designations between CWA programs, with other UMR programs, and to the public. Shepard added that there is more than just the “cosmetic value” of using similar definitions and that the effort could lead to improved consistency in UMR CWA programs overall.
Hokanson suggested that a “first year report” on the designated use project include, at minimum, completion of the first three sections of the report as described in the project outline. He added that the data analysis element should either be addressed within the first year report or in a separate document scooping that effort. Good concurred and suggested that the first year report be provided to the WQTF by their next meeting, to be held in January 2010.
Donnelly reported that she had scheduled state visits with
Donnelly indicated that her next state visit, after
Relationship to Ecosystem Objective-Setting
The WQTF briefly discussed the relationship of the designated uses project to the Corps’ reach-based ecosystem objective-setting process. Hokanson noted that there could be value in Donnelly attending some of these meetings, but also observed that this could be distracting from the primary missions of project (focusing on state visits, report, and data analysis). Short noted that the Corps’ discussions were not like to reach the level of water quality criteria. Shepard observed that there is value, however, in building on the work the Corps has done regarding status and desired condition of the ecosystem.
Donnelly and Hokanson noted the questions regarding data analysis raised by Donnelly in her handout including: Priority data sets to examine? Which parameters to focus on? How to begin spatially? Main channel/border only or more? Olson suggested starting with LTRMP as a priority data set and looking at the study pools. He added that the spatial data query tool can be used to look at LTRMP data. Hokanson asked whether all pools should be addressed at once or a subset initially. The consensus of the group was to look at 2-3 LTRMP study pools initially.
Donnelly asked which parameters she should examine in her effort to find meaningful distinctions between aquatic areas. The WQTF developed the following list of parameters: dissolved oxygen, TSS, pH, phosphorus, chlorophyll-a, nitrate, Secchi transparency, and ammonia.
Hokanson asked whether any biological components should be included in the first iteration of data analysis. The WQTF agreed that the initial investigation should focus on chemical/physical parameters.
Hokanson summarized what appeared to be the data analysis approach proposed by the WQTF:
§ Data analysis would focus first on LTRMP study pools, with a subset of 2-3 pools being the focus of the initial investigation.
§ The goal of the investigation is to determine where the data demonstrates meaningful differences between aquatic areas that would suggest the need for distinctions in use designations and/or water quality criteria.
§ The initial phase of the investigation will be limited to chemical and physical parameters.
§ Existing reports from LTRMP and LTRMP tools (e.g. spatial data query tool) will be employed to begin the analysis. Where needed, raw LTRMP data will also be analyzed.
§ Other data sets (e.g. EMAP, state and other USGS data) will be brought into the analysis along with LTRMP data. This will allow for understanding how these data sets relate within a pool and possibly how this relationship might be extrapolated to other pools.
Hokanson asked Donnelly whether this initial investigation could potentially be completed by the January WQTF meeting. Donnelly indicated that this could be done.
Hokanson indicated that he would work to revise the project workplan in accordance with the meeting’s discussions and would distribute that out to the WQTF. He noted that the work plan would both be shifted to reflect Donnelly’s actual start date and would incorporate deliverables as discussed at the meeting today.
UMR Water Quality Poster
Donnelly and Hokanson mentioned that the poster created by Donnelly for the “Visions of a Sustainable Mississippi River” conference was available for review and comment and could be reproduced if desired by the WQTF. The WQTF indicated interest and Good noted his specific interest in getting 2 copies. Shepard indicated interest in obtaining a copy. The poster was then set out during a break in the meeting to allow for discussion and comment by the WQTF. Edits requested by the WQTF included:
§ Correcting PFOS (all caps)
§ Listing specific impaired reaches on impairment list.
§ Showing assessment reached on the map.
Tiered Aquatic Life Use (TALU) Approach and Setting Impairment Thresholds
Olson initiated this discussion which a short presentation regarding the TALU approach. He noted that the recent biological indicators report pointed out that “there are no shared goals or vision for the UMR system” and a lack of “biological goals.” Olson stated that the challenge is determining where the UMR stands in regard to impairment thresholds and how to set such thresholds and goals for the river’s condition.
Short commented on the process of setting biological
Shepard observed that the complexity of the system (the UMR) sometimes outstrips our ability to measure it. Short replied that the states have been using fish and macroinvertebrates for years to assess their intrastate waters.
Shepard commented that the UMR might be at a “5” on the biological condition gradient figure shown by Olson, and that perhaps a goal would be to get to a “3” or “4” as a sustainable condition. Olson noted that the UMR has a great resilience and still retains many of its species. Short cautioned that the relationship on the biological condition gradient is not necessarily linear. Good observed that there is a need to establish a shared goal across programs.
Hora provided an update on
Olson commented that, while there is awareness of the TALU
Short reported that Chris Yoder has been working in
Dkhili reported that Yoder has evaluated
Shepard asked whether this discussion fit into the WQTF’s biological assessment work (under the 604(b) proposal) or the designated use project. Hokanson replied that this conversation is relevant for the biological assessment guidance work, the designated use discussion, and the followup from the biological indicators workshop – and might speak to the need for the ad hoc workgroup as a forum to consider goals across programs. He added, however, that it seemed the most immediate fit for the biological assessment work under the 604(b) proposal. Olson concurred that this was probably the strongest initial connection.
Long Term Resource Monitoring Program (LTRMP) and CWA Programs
Hokanson initiated the discussion regarding LTRMP by noting three possible themes for the day’s discussion:
1) Review state’s use of LTRMP data in CWA programs,
2) Considering how states might work with LTRMP to make better use of existing data, and
3) Considering how LTRMP might be able to support CWA needs in the future (through expanded monitoring, outpool sampling, etc.) and what questions need to be asked to determine what is possible.
Hokanson displayed a chart summarizing the state’s use of LTRMP data that was created in 2003 and a recent slide used in several UMRBA presentations reflecting a more current understanding of the use of this data. He asked the WQTF to comment on both of these and their use of LTRMP data generally.
Dkhili commented that
In regard to LTRMP data specifically, Short indicated that
Donnelly asked whether, ultimately, a state’s own data will be the deciding information in an impairment decision. Olson observed that if no state data is available, data from other sources, including LTRMP, can be used in making an impairment decision. Short noted that the states cannot utilize LTRMP’s biological information as they don’t have biologically-based standards in place for the UMR. Donnelly asked whether this means that the condition of fish couldn’t be considered even if there was noticeable change in those populations. Good and Short replied that there was currently not a mechanism to incorporate this type of biological information as there were no biocriteria established for the UMR.
Hokanson asked whether the data accessibility issues noted in the 2003 summary still presented challenges to the usefulness of LTRMP data. Olson replied that access to the data has definitely improved, but that it can still be challenging to associate data with a physical location. Short observed that, for CWA purposes, the data needs to be extracted and manipulated, and cannot just be taken as provided via the web. Olson and Short indicated that they were the only individuals within their state CWA programs familiar with utilizing LTRMP data.
Short did re-emphasize that differences in methodologies alone should not preclude the use of LTRMP data. Donnelly commented that the issue lag time in serving out data appears to have been addressed by LTRMP. Olson and Short indicated that this was largely true, but that there still can be periods of some lag time.
Hokanson noted that the LTRMP FY 2010-2014 Strategic and Operational Plan had been included in the WQTF packet so that WQTF members could have a sense of how the LTRMP is approaching its work and setting its goals. He added that this document also conveys the importance that LTRMP places on continuity of data sets, and that CWA uses of the data are not an area emphasized in the Plan. Hokanson did note that, in regard to work on indicators, the Plan does mention both the WQTF and the reach objective-setting process. Franz and Hokanson observed that future such plans might provide an opportunity to more fully address CWA program uses of LTRMP data. Franz also commented that, although the states were part of the Strategic and Operational planning process, they were primarily represented by staff from natural resource management programs.
Shepard suggested that a productive next step would be to have LTRMP staff walk through the recently completed “Status and Trends” report to increase the WQTF’s understanding of the report specifically and the LTRMP program more generally. Good and Hokanson suggested that this conference call could then be followed by a more forward-looking discussion with LTRMP staff at the WQTF meeting in January. Hokanson indicated that he would be in contact with LTRMP staff to confirm their availability to participate in these conversations.
Hokanson asked whether there was value in updating the summary of the use of LTRMP data by state CWA programs. All agreed that this would be useful document. Hokanson indicated that he would circulate a draft update incorporating information from the day’s discussions and structured as follows: 1) current utilization of LTRMP data, 2) obstacles to utilization of LTRMP data, and 3) possible areas/ways to enhance use of LTRMP data.
Confirming Priorities and Next Steps
The WQTF confirmed the following as priority work tasks;
§ Updating the designated use project work plan to reflect WQTF discussions and January 2010 deliverables.
§ Developing the RFP for work on the biological assessment guidance component of the 604(b) project.
§ Setting up next conversations with LTRMP program staff.
Next Conference Call and Task Force Meeting
A WQTF conference call will be held in early October and will include information from LTRMP staff on the Status and Trends report and time to review draft 604(b) RFP.
A WQTF meeting will be held in January 2010 in
Hokanson will work with the WQTF to schedule both the conference call and the meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:30 p.m. on September 2, 2009.