The Basics of TMDLs



 

The 303(d) Process

Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act calls for each state to identify those waters within its boundaries for which effluent limitations are not stringent enough to implement any water quality standard applicable to such waters. The state also priority ranks those waters, accounting for the severity of the pollution and the uses to be made of the waters. For those identified waters, the state is to establish the total maximum daily load (TMDL) for those pollutants causing the non-attainment of the water quality standards. Such loads are to be established at a level necessary to implement the applicable water quality standard with seasonal variations and a margin of safety, which accounts for uncertainty concerning the relationship between effluent limitations and water quality.

Federal Regulations provide additional guidance on the 303(d) process.  40 CFR 130.7 describes:

  1. The process for identifying water quality limited segments, requiring TMDLs.
  2. The process for setting priorities for developing TMDLs, including Wasteload Allocations and Load Allocations.
  3. The process for establishing TMDLs for those identified segments, including,
    1. water quality monitoring
    2. modeling
    3. data analysis
    4. calculation methods
    5. the list of pollutants to be regulated.
  4. The process of submitting the state's list and priority ranking and established TMDLs to EPA for approval.
  5. The process of incorporating the approved loads into the state Water Quality Management Plans and NPDES permits.
  6. The process to involve the public, affected dischargers, government agencies, and local government in 303(d) activities.

 

The 1998 Court Decree

On November 1, 1995, the Kansas Natural Resource Council and the Sierra Club filed a complaint against the EPA, compelling it to enforce Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act by establishing TMDLs pursuant to Section 303(d) and to compel EPA to approve or disapprove Kansas' Continuing Planning Process (CPP) relative to Section 303(e) of the Clean Water Act. Kansas intervened in the litigation, since the state had lead responsibility for identifying and ranking in priority the waters requiring TMDLs and establishing such TMDLs. A settlement was reached and a consent decree approving the settlement was made on April 13, 1998. Under the terms of the court decree, a schedule of submittals was agreed upon regarding the Continuing Planning Process document and the TMDLs established for the water quality limited water bodies of the state.

Beginning January 31, 1999 and by January 31 of each year thereafter during the effective period of the court decree, EPA and Kansas provided the plaintiffs with a written report, jointly if possible, regarding the activities undertaken to comply with the court decree during the previous calendar year.  The report included:

  1. The water quality limited segments which had TMDLs established during the year;
  2. The TMDLs established during the year; and
  3. The water quality limited segments on the 1996 Section 303(d) list that are not on the current Section 303(d) list and an explanation why they are not on the current list.

As of June 30, 2006, Kansas had completed its obligations to develop TMDLs in the twelve river basins of the state. 413 TMDLs addressing impairments that had appeared on the 1996 Section 303(d) list and the 1998, 2002, and 2004 lists were developed between January 1999 and June 2006. The Stipulation of Dismissal was filed on January 19, 2007 and so ordered by Judge Lungstrum on January 22, 2007.

 

Kansas TMDL Vision Process

1.  Introduction

The Long-Term Vision for Assessment, Restoration, and Protection under the Clean Water Act Section 303(d) Program established by EPA and the States proclaims:

“The Clean Water Act Section 303(d) Program provides for effective integration of implementation efforts to restore and protect the nation’s aquatic resources, where the nation’s waters are assessed, restoration and protection objectives are systematically prioritized, and Total Maximum Daily Loads and alternative approaches are adaptively implemented to achieve water quality goals with the collaboration of States, Federal agencies, tribes, stakeholders, and the public” (emphasis added).

Among the six elemental goals of the Long-Term Vision is Prioritization”:

“For the 2016 integrated reporting cycle and beyond, States review, systematically prioritize, and report priority watersheds or waters for restoration and protection in their biennial integrated reports to facilitate State strategic planning for achieving water quality goals”.
The draft guidance for the 2016 Integrated Report encourages States to establish and identify their priorities beyond the traditional 2-year window rendered by the biennial Section 303(d) listing of impaired waters. States have flexibility in how they define their priorities and may use a variety of ways to describe these priorities, which include:

  • by geographic units: watersheds, ecoregions, and basins;
  • by pollutants; or,
  • by designated uses.

Setting long-term CWA 303(d) priorities from FY 2016 to FY 2022 affords States an opportunity to strategically focus their efforts and demonstrate progress over time in achieving environmental results. As such, the long-term priorities are not expected to substantially change from FY 2016 to FY 2022.

Consistent with the new Vision, beginning in 2016, the Integrated Report (IR) submitted by States should include or reference: the State’s long-term priorities for the CWA 303(d) program from 2016 to 2022 and the associated rationale used to set these long-term priorities. The rationale should explain how the State arrived at the long-term priorities; and, it should discuss where the State plans to develop future TMDLs, alternative restoration approaches or protection plans and the extent to which they already exist in priority watersheds or water segments.

KANSAS NUTRIENT REDUCTION FRAMEWORK
Since 2004, Kansas has chosen to attack nutrients through a strategy of load reduction rather than pursuing numeric criteria. Much of the Kansas strategy has subsequently been endorsed through issuance of a 2011 EPA memorandum outlining the elements of a framework for States to follow in reducing nutrients prior to formally adopting numeric nutrient criteria. The eight elements address prioritization and goal setting, implementing actions, and accounting and reporting of nutrient reduction efforts in the State. The first element calls for “prioritizing watersheds on a statewide basis for nitrogen and phosphorus loading reductions”.  The three steps under the first element include:

  1. Use best available information to estimate nutrient loadings on a HUC 8 basis.
  2. Identify the major watersheds that contribute a substantial portion of nutrient loadings in the State
  3. Within each major watershed, identify targeted or priority subwatersheds at the HUC 12 scale to implement specific nutrient load reduction activities.

This first element of the nutrient reduction framework became the foundation for Kansas establishing its priorities under the Vision for its 303(d) program. As subsequently described, a number of factors were evaluated for 68 of the 80 HUC 8’s in Kansas that had such information with each HUC 8 ranked relative to the others on each factor. A final selection of 16 priority HUC 8s underpinned the beginning of establishing long-term priorities for TMDL development with the 2014 Integrated Report.

A follow-up exercise is underway currently, using EPA Headquarters assistance with the Recovery Potential Tool to verify the placement of the original top 16 HUC 8s as priorities, based on current and potential stressors, water resource value and potential point and non-point implementation success.

2.  The Kansas 303(d) Prioritization Process: the Factors

HISTORIC CONDITION
The first set of factors described the historic ambient condition and relative generation of phosphorus loads within each of the 68 HUC 8s.  Those factors include:

  1. Estimated average incremental P load generated within the HUC 8 in T/yr
  2. The estimated total P load exiting the HUC 8 (including P loads imported from upstream HUCs in T/yr
  3. The median TP concentration of all streams within the HUC 8 in mg/l

The loads provided some hydrologic context to the ambient concentrations found in each HUC 8. For example, a HUC 8 with a very high median TP concentration was the Lower Sappa Subbasin in Northwest Kansas. However, the lack of surface flows in that subbasin precluded high loads being generated within the HUC and, hence, low P loads exiting the HUC. Therefore, the inclusion of hydrology tended to push the rankings of loads toward the eastern and central portions of Kansas.

The HUC 8s were ranked from high to low for each of these indicators and scores were assigned to percentile groupings, i.e., Ranks 1 – 7 got 5 points (top 10%); Ranks 8 – 17 got 4 points (11 – 25%); Ranks 18 – 34 got 3 points (26 – 50%); Ranks 35 – 51 got 2 points (51 – 75%); Ranks 52 – 61 got 1 point (76 – 90%) and the lowest seven ranked HUC 8s, #’s 62 – 68 (bottom 10%) got no points.

STRESSORS
The next set of factors described the current and probable future stresses that would exacerbate the impacts of phosphorus loading within each HUC 8. These factors included:

  1. The crop acres in the HUC 8
  2. The percentage of land area within the HUC 8 that was cropland
  3. The urban acres in the HUC 8
  4. The percentage of land area within the HUC 8 that was urban
  5. The number of stream TP impairments and the number of lake eutrophication impairments present in the HUC 8
  6. The total design volume of wastewater potentially discharged by the major facilities in the HUC 8
  7. The percent population change between 2000 and 2010 for each county within the HUC 8
  8. The number of cattle inventoried in each county in 2007 within the HUC 8 These factors were similarly ranked and scored as the historic condition factors.

RELATIVE VALUE OF WATER
Several factors were identified that conveyed a sense of value for the surface waters found in each HUC 8. These factors describe:

  1. The number of Outstanding National Resource Waters (i.e., Tier 3) present in the HUC 8.
  2. The number of Exceptional State Waters (i.e., Tier 2.5) present in the HUC 8.
  3. The Priority Riparian Area scores for each HUC 8.
  4. The presence of a public water supply lake in the HUC 8.
  5. If public water supplies have a direct point of diversion into any of the streams in the HUC 8 (i.e., public water supplies served by surface waters).
  6. The influence of the pour point of the HUC 8 on the quality of water seen at the interstate border (At the border, close to the border, distant from the border, or no impact at the border).

Rankings and scores were tabulated for the 68 HUC 8s as with the other factors.

IMPLEMENTATION POTENTIAL
The final set of factors dealt with the probability that effective implementation could occur if nutrient TMDLs were established for waters in any given HUC 8. For point source discharges, previous stressor factors involving major NPDES discharges, population growth, and urban land distribution in a HUC 8 also serve as indicators of our ability to control those regulated discharges through wastewater and stormwater NPDES permits. Given the pervasive rural constitution of Kansas watersheds, the key for implementation then lies with the ability of the non-point source control programs at the disposal of the state (i.e., 319, State Water Plan, Farm Bill). Because non-point source control implementation depends heavily on local leadership and management, the factors used for this consideration were tied to the presence and ability of Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy groups (WRAPS) in certain HUC 8s.  Four factors were evaluated for WRAPS in each HUC 8, including:

  1. Is there an active WRAPS group present in the HUC 8?
  2. Does the WRAPS group have a history of performing effective implementation on the ground since it formed?
  3. Has the WRAPS group identified critical HUC 12’s?
  4. Does the WRAPS group have effectiveness monitoring in place to evaluate its efforts?

RESULTS OF HUC 8 PRIORITIZATION
Kansas decided to concentrate its TMDL development over 2014 – 2022 on the top 25% of HUC 8’s among the 68 HUC 8s subject to the ranking and scoring exercise. Essentially 16 HUC 8’s were designated as top priority for 303(d) purposes addressing nutrient impairments. These 16 HUC 8’s are identified in the table below and displayed in the following map.

1

10270102

Middle Kansas

2

11030012

Little Arkansas

3

10270104

Lower Kansas

4

11030013

Middle Arkansas-Slate

5

11070205

Middle Neosho

6

10260008

Lower Smoky Hill

7

10270103

Delaware

8

11070207

Spring

9

11030018

Lower Walnut River

10

10260007

Big

11

11030017

Upper Walnut River

12

10270205

Lower Big Blue

13

10290101

Upper Marais des Cygnes

14

10240011

Independence-Sugar

15

10250017

Lower Republican

16

11070204

Upper Neosho

 

Table B1.  Top Priority HUC 8’s with Nutrient Impairments to be addressed by the 303(d) Program.

Top Priority HUC 8’s with Nutrient  Impairments

Figure B1.  Top Priority HUC 8’s with Nutrient Impairments to be addressed by the 303(d) Program.

These 16 priority HUC 8s became the centerpiece of setting priorities in Kansas’ 2014 Integrated Report, including the 303(d) list of impaired waters. The methodology for listing those waters in 2014 included the following provision:

STREAM CHEMISTRY CATEGORY 5 PRIORITY FOR TMDL DEVELOPMENT
Consistent with Kansas’ emerging TMDL Vision Strategy, establishing priorities for TMDL development between 2014 and 2022, certain AUs [Assessment Units] containing streams impaired by total phosphorus in certain HUC 8s will be designated for TMDL development. The targeted HUC 8s and impaired streams intended for TMDLs in 2014 are listed in Table B2.

The HUC 8s and associated impaired streams impacted by phosphorus slated for TMDL development in 2015 are listed in table B3.

Subsequent years will be tied to TMDL development in certain HUC 8s for streams impaired by excessive total phosphorus as seen in Table B4. The year 2017 will be used to catch up on TMDL development in previous AUs that slipped past the end of their designated year and also to develop TMDLs for any emerging issues involving pollutants other than phosphorus. Targeted HUC 8 TMDL development will re-commence in 2018 – 2020 with another catch up period in 2021 prior to the grand evaluation of TMDL impacts, possible revision to existing TMDLs and designation of the next 10 years of priorities in 2022. Adjustments to targeted AUs will be made with the submission of each biennial Integrated Report.

 

 

HUC 8
Subbasin

Stream Chemistry Station

Stream Assessment Unit

Targeted TMDL
Development Year

11070201
Neosho Headwaters

SC273

Neosho River at Neosho Rapids

2014

 

SC637

 

Neosho River near Parkerville

 

2014

11070203
Lower Cottonwood

 

SC274

 

Cottonwood River below Emporia

 

2014

11070205
Middle Neosho

 

SC564

Labette Creek near Labette

 

2014

 

11070207
Spring

SC567

Cow Creek near Lawton

2014

SC212

Shoal Creek near Galena

2014

SC570

Short Creek near Galena

2014

11030017
Upper Walnut

SC279

Walnut River below El Dorado

2014

SC038

Whitewater River at Towanda

2014

 

11030018
Lower Walnut

SC106

Walnut River at Gordon

2014

SC704

Eight Mile Creek near Douglass

2014

 

SC744

 

Four Mile Creek near Gordon

 

2014

Table B2.  Targeted HUC8s and impaired streams intended for TMDL development in 2014.

 

 

HUC 8
Subbasin

Stream Chemistry Station

Stream Assessment Unit

Targeted TMDL
Development Year

10270101
Upper Kansas

SC518

Kansas River near Ogden

2015

10270102
Middle Kansas

SC260

Kansas River near Wamego

2015

SC259

Kansas River at Willard

2015

10270104
Lower Kansas

SC257

Kansas River at Lecompton

2015

SC255

Kansas River at Eudora

2015

SC254

Kansas River at Desoto

2015

SC203

Kansas River at Kansas City

2015

Table B3.  Targeted HUC8s and impaired streams intended for TMDL development in 2015.

 

Targeted HUC 8s

Intended TMDL Development Year

11030012 Little Arkansas

2016

11030013 Middle Arkansas – Slate

2016

TMDL Slippage & Ad hoc  Addressed Impairments

2017

10260008 Lower Smoky Hill

2018

10250017 Lower Republican

2019

10260103 Delaware

2019

10260205 Lower Big Blue

2019

11030012 Little Arkansas

2020

11030013 Middle Arkansas – Slate

2020

TMDL Slippage & Ad hoc Addressed Impairments

2021

Evaluation and Revision of Existing TMDLs & Re- designation of Priorities for 2023 - 2032

2022

Table B4. Targeted HUC8s and impaired streams intended for TMDL development in 2016-2022.

 

As can be seen in the first two tables, some discretionary additions were made to the designated HUC 8’s subject to TMDL development in 2014 and 2015. Certain HUC 8’s were included with the original priority 16 HUC 8’s because those additional HUC 8’s exert significant influence on the quality seen in the designated HUC 8’s. For example, the Lower Cottonwood Subbasin has the city of Emporia located within it and Emporia’s wastewater and stormwater discharge near the pour point of that HUC 8 into the Neosho Headwaters HUC 8, which is a priority 16 HUC. It made sense to Kansas to include that lowest portion of the Lower Cottonwood to account for Emporia’s influence, even though the ranked factors used to score that HUC 8 came in at a moderate score.

Similarly, the Upper Kansas HUC 8 was not among the priority 16 HUC 8’s but it conveys the waters and loads from two upstream priority HUC 8’s, the Lower Republican and the Lower Smoky Hill to a downstream priority HUC 8, the Middle Kansas. Hence, it was included to maintain continuity in load transport and relations. Kansas anticipates that other HUC 8’s, such as the Gar – Peace Subbasin (11030010) above the Middle Arkansas – Slate priority HUC 8 or the Lower Saline (10260010) and Solomon River (10260015) discharging into the Lower Smoky Hill might be included if their influence is significant.

Additionally, some tributaries to the main stem streams of certain HUC 8’s might be subject to TMDL development in subsequent years leading up to 2022. For example, Stranger Creek in the Lower Kansas Subbasin is a major non-point source contributor of phosphorus to the lower Kansas River and will have TMDLs established on it in 2017. Specific timelines were expressed in the actual 2014 303(d) list of impaired waters for certain assessment units.

The 2014 Kansas Integrated Report included text, preliminary outlining the priority and direction of the Kansas Vision for its 303(d) program.

PRIORITIES AND SCHEDULES; INTRODUCTION OF THE KANSAS TMDL VISION
Since 1999, TMDL development efforts in each of the state’s twelve major river basins have attempted to adhere to a five-year rotational schedule. With the emergence of a Kansas TMDL Vision, consistent with the approach supported by EPA’s national TMDL Program, significant alteration in scheduling has been made for the years 2014- 2022. Kansas TMDL Vision is tied to KDHE’s Nutrient Reduction Framework and will concentrate on stream phosphorus or nitrate impairments within 16 HUC8’s deemed as high priority. The

2014 303(d) list identifies streams in the Neosho Headwaters, Middle Neosho, Spring, and Upper and Lower Walnut HUC8 sub-basins with excessive total phosphorus as slated for TMDL development in 2014.

The list similarly identifies segments of the Kansas River in the Upper, Middle and Lower Kansas sub-basins to have phosphorus TMDLs established in 2015. Streams in six other HUC8’s will have stream phosphorus TMDLs developed over 2016- 2022. As time permits, secondary impairments caused by excessive nutrients including pH, deficient dissolved oxygen or lake eutrophication, may also have TMDLs developed within the priority 16 HUC8 sub-basins. This priority schedule means that no TMDL development will be conducted in other basins of the State, particularly those in western Kansas. Additionally, current plans are that impairments other than nutrients [-driven] will not be addressed during 2014- 2022.

RELATIONSHIP WITH EPA PERFORMANCE MEASURES WQ-27 AND WQ-28
With the advent in Federal Fiscal Year 2015 of two new performance measures tied to tracking State progress under its Vision-based priority schedule, a clear picture is emerging in Kansas as to what constitutes its universe of priorities slated for TMDL development, the associated baseline of previous accomplished work done in 2012 – 2014 under the guise of the Vision and annual targeted commitments of TMDL production anticipated for each year of the 2015 – 2022 time period.

A subsequent listing within this document will outline the specifics regarding timing of TMDL development for certain stream segments and their supporting HUC 12 sub-watersheds. Those stream segments will be impaired by total phosphorus and/or nitrate and constitute the primary priorities for TMDLs within the 16 priority HUC 8’s. These stream segments and associated sub-watersheds represent the assessment units that Kansas will report to EPA in order to populate the WQ-27 measure database.

Other nutrient-based impairments, such as elevated pH or lake eutrophication, in those 16 priority HUC 8’s addressed by TMDLs will be accounted for through populating databases supporting WQ-28. Additionally, certain phosphorus or nitrate impairments in other HUC 8’s outside the priority 16 that are successfully addressed by TMDLs or, alternatively, technical support for NPDES permitting or 319 watershed planning will also be accounted for in WQ-28. Any emerging phosphorus or nitrate impairments on streams in the priority HUC 8’s that arise in the 2016, 2018 or 2020 Integrated Reports for Kansas will be attempted to be addressed with TMDLs in 2021 and credited to WQ-28. Kansas anticipates that the WQ-28 credits will transition over to become part of the baseline for WQ-27 for the time period 2023 – 2032.

3.  Alignment of Kansas 303(d) Priorities with EPA National & Regional Priorities

The central theme of Kansas’ priorities for its 303(d) program is nutrient reduction in certain surface waters of Central and Eastern Kansas. This priority aligns closely with EPA’s priorities on both the national and regional scale. EPA’s FY 2014-2018 Strategic Plan continues past practice and reaffirms among its goals and objectives:

Goal 2: Protecting America’s Waters
     Objective 2.2: Protect and Restore Watersheds and Aquatic Ecosystems
          Sub-objective 2.2.1: Improve Water Quality on a Watershed Basis

The Strategic Plan is implemented through the FY 2014 Final National Water Program Manager Guidance and the FY 2015 Final Office of Water Addendum to the FY 2014 NPMG. A core priority within the FY14 NWPMG was “Controlling Nutrient Pollution”. Among the anticipated actions to be undertaken by EPA with the States is:

  1. Work with States to implement the March 2011 memorandum “Working in Partnership with States to address Phosphorus and Nitrogen Pollution through Use of a Framework for State Nutrient Reductions”.
  2. Focus on continuing to work with States to implement the Section 319 program reforms, including updating State NPS Management Plans.
  3. Continue to work with States to ensure effective permitting of nutrient pollution to protect State WQS.

Secondarily, the efforts of Kansas and its 303(d) program coincide with EPA’s priority to, at least indirectly, protect and restore the health of the Gulf of Mexico through, lowered nutrient loads entering the Missouri and Arkansas Rivers, en route to the Mississippi River and the Gulf. One of Region VII’s three priorities is protecting and improving water quality across America’s greatest watershed, the Missouri-Mississippi Basin.

Among the performance measures associated with the Strategic Plan and Water Program Guidance that are supported by the nutrient-based priorities of Kansas’ 303(d) program are:

  1. WQ-26: Number of states implementing nutrient reduction strategies by (1) setting priorities on a watershed or state-wide basis; (2) establishing nutrient reduction targets, and (3) continuing to make progress (and provide performance milestone information to EPA) on adoption of numeric nutrient criteria for at least one class of waters by no later than 2016. Region VII target = 0.67 for FFY15.
     
  2. WQ-SP-10.N11: Number of waterbodies identified in 2002 as not attaining water quality standards where standards are now fully attained. Region VII targets = 467 in FFY15; 456 in FFY14, 443 in FFY13.
     
  3. WQ-SP-11: Remove the specific causes of waterbody impairment identified by States in 2002. Region VII targets = 1449 in FFY15, 1417 in FFY14, 1363 in FFY13.
     
  4. WQ-SP-12.N11: Improve water quality conditions in impaired watersheds nationwide using the watershed approach. Region VII targets = 14 in FFY15, 13 in FFY14, 11 in FFY13.

Additionally, Kansas’ efforts support indirectly the Gulf of Mexico measure that calls for reducing releases of nutrient throughout the Mississippi River Basin to reduce the size of the hypoxic zone in the Gulf. Finally, two performance measures directly tied to the Vision will be unveiled in FFY 15 and fully in place for FFY 16. The setting of priority areas by Kansas directly aligns with tracking progress and performance defined by these measures.

  1. WQ-27: Extent of priority areas identified by each state that are addressed by EPA- approved TMDLs or alternative restoration approaches for impaired waters that will achieve water quality standards.
     
  2. WQ-28: State-wide extent of activities leading to complete TMDLs or alternative restoration approaches for impaired waters.

4.   The Kansas Priorities for TMDL Development from 2014 – 2022

Based on the priority HUC 8’s identified as part of the Nutrient Reduction Framework and emphasis on stream phosphorus and nitrate impairments pursuant to the initial identification of the universe and baseline for performance measure WQ-27. The specific assessment unit priorities identified herewith will be used to populate the measure with the associated catchment areas and the schedule of intended TMDL development should translate to annual expectations of commitment between Kansas and EPA. These priorities are memorialized within the 2014 Kansas 303(d) list as either completed TMDLs or listings within the priority 16 HUC 8s.

Year

HUC 8

Subbasin

Station

Watershed

Location

Nutrient

 

2011

 

10260007

 

Big Creek

SC541

Big Creek

Abv Hays

Phosphorus

SC540

Big Creek

Munjor

Phosphorus

SC540

Big Creek

Munjor

Nitrate

SC752

Big Creek

Russell

Phosphorus

 

2007

11030012

Little Arkansas

SC535

Sand Creek

Sedgwick

Nitrate

 

2013

 

 

SC535

Sand Creek

Sedgwick

Phosphorus

SC533

Turkey Creek

Alta Mills

Phosphorus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014

 

11070201

 

Neosho Headwaters

SC273

Neosho River

Neosho Rapids

Phosphorus

SC637

Neosho River

Parkerville

Phosphorus

 

11070203*

Lower Cottonwood

SC274

Cottonwood River

Emporia

Phosphorus

 

11070205

Middle Neosho

SC564

Labette Creek

Labette

Phosphorus

 

 

11070207

 

Spring

SC212

Shoal Creek

Galena

Phosphorus

SC567

Cow Creek

Lawton

Phosphorus

SC570

Short Creek

Galena

Phosphorus

 

 

11030017

 

Upper Walnut

SC279

Walnut River

El Dorado

Phosphorus

SC038

Whitewater River

Towanda

Phosphorus

 

 

11030018

 

Lower Walnut

SC106

Walnut River

Gordon

Phosphorus

SC744

Four Mile Creek

Gordon

Phosphorus

SC704

Eight Mile Creek

Douglass

Phosphorus

* Not a priority HUC 8 but exerts significant influence on water quality of priority HUC8
Table B5.  TMDL development within the priority 16 HUC 8s prior to 2015.

 

Year

HUC 8

Subbasin

Station

Watershed

Location

Nutrient

 

2015

10270101*

Upper Kansas

SC518

Kansas River

Ogden

Phosphorus

 

10270102

Middle Kansas

SC260

Kansas River

Wamego

Phosphorus

SC259

Kansas River

Willard

Phosphorus

 

10270104

Lower Kansas

SC257

Kansas River

Lecompton

Phosphorus

 

 

 

SC255

Kansas River

Eudora

Phosphorus

SC254

Kansas River

De Soto

Phosphorus

SC203

Kansas River

Kansas City

Phosphorus

 

 

 

 

2016

11030010*

Gar – Peace

SC524

Arkansas River

Yoder

Phosphorus

 

 

11030012

 

Little Arkansas

SC282

Little Arkansas River

Valley Center

Phosphorus

SC728

Little Arkansas River

Wichita

Phosphorus

 

 

11030013

 

Middle Arkansas – Slate

SC729

Arkansas River

Wichita

Phosphorus

SC527

Arkansas River

Oxford

Phosphorus

SC218

Arkansas River

Arkansas City

Phosphorus

SC281

Arkansas River

Derby

Phosphorus

SC281

Arkansas River

Derby

Nitrate

 

 

 

 

2017

Finalize development of any slipped TMDLs from 2015 - 2016

 

10270102

Middle Kansas

SC238

Shunganunga Creek

Topeka

Phosphorus

 

 

 

10270104

 

 

Lower Kansas

SC602

Upper Stranger Creek

Elwood

Phosphorus

SC683

Crooked Creek

Winchester

Phosphorus

SC251

Mill Creek

Shawnee

Phosphorus

SC252

Cedar Creek

Cedar Junction

Phosphorus

2007

SC252

Cedar Creek

Cedar Junction

Nitrate

* Not a priority HUC 8 but exerts significant influence on water quality of priority HUC8

 

Year

HUC 8

Subbasin

Station

Watershed

Location

Nutrient

 

2018

 

10260008

 

Lower Smoky Hill

SC268

Smoky Hill River

Salina

Nitrate

SC268

Smoky Hill River

Salina

Phosphorus

SC265

Smoky Hill River

Enterprise

Phosphorus

 

 

 

SC264

Smoky Hill River

Junction City

Phosphorus

SC749

Sharps Creek

Marquette

Phosphorus

SC643

Mud Creek

Abilene

Phosphorus

 

10260010*

Lower Saline

SC267

Saline River

New Cambria

Phosphorus

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019

 

 

 

10250017

 

 

 

Lower Republican

SC509

Buffalo Creek

Concordia

Phosphorus

SC709

Elm Creek

Ames

Phosphorus

SC710

Mulberry Creek

Clifton

Phosphorus

SC649

Peats Creek

Clifton

Phosphorus

SC504

Republican River

Above Clay Center

Phosphorus

SC503

Republican River

Below Clay Center

Phosphorus

SC510

Republican River

Rice

Phosphorus

SC650

Salt Creek

Hollis

Phosphorus

SC707

Wolf Creek

Concordia

Phosphorus

 

 

10270103

 

Delaware

SC554

Delaware River

Half Mound

Phosphorus

SC603

Grasshopper Creek

Muscotah

Phosphorus

SC604

Elk Creek

Larkinburg

Phosphorus

* Not a priority HUC 8 but exerts significant influence on water quality of priority HUC8

 

Year

HUC 8

Subbasin

Station

Watershed

Location

Nutrient

 

2019
cont.

 

10270207

 

Lower Little Blue

SC233

Big Blue River

Oketo

Phosphorus

SC240

Big Blue River

Blue Rapids

Phosphorus

SC505

Black Vermillion River

Frankfort

Phosphorus

 

 

 

SC754

Robidoux Creek

Frankfort

Phosphorus

SC717

Horseshoe Creek

Marysville

Phosphorus

SC731

N. Elm Creek

Oketo

Phosphorus

SC232

Little Blue River

Hollenberg

Phosphorus

SC741

Little Blue River

Waterville

Phosphorus

SC712

Rose Creek

Narka

Phosphorus

 

 

 

 

 

2020

 

 

11030012

 

 

Little Arkansas

SC705

Black Kettle Creek

Halstead

Phosphorus

SC703

Kisiwa Creek

Halstead

Phosphorus

SC534

Emma Creek

Sedgwick

Phosphorus

 

SC246

Little Arkansas River

 

Alta Mills

 

Phosphorus

 

 

 

11030013

 

 

Middle Arkansas – Slate

SC288

Cowskin Creek

Wichita-VC Floodway

Phosphorus

 

SC730

Upper Cowskin Creek

 

Wichita

 

Phosphorus

 

SC702

Lower Cowskin Creek

 

Belle Plaine

 

Phosphorus

SC528

Slate Creek

Wellington

Phosphorus

 

2021

Finalize any slipped TMDLs, develop TMDLs for emerging TP/NO3 impairments in priority HUC 8’s, develop TMDLs for any contingency impairments external to priorities

 

2022

Finalize any slipped TMDLs, final report out on WQ-27, prepare 2023 – 2032 priorities

Table B6.  TMDL Development schedule 2015-2022 (plus 2007 nitrate TMDL in the lower KS).

 

Approach to Changing Priorities
The priorities described in this document and on the 2014 303(d) list represent the anticipated universe of priority waters and issues that will comprise the Kansas Vision effort between now and 2022. However, these priorities and their schedule will subject to two situations: slippage in TMDL development and emerging new priorities. Slippage will be handled by having two turnout periods, in 2017 and 2021, to catch up development of TMDLs underway in previous years. Additionally, 2022may be used, in part, to finalize any late TMDL development prior to reporting out on performance measure WQ-27.

There are four scenarios anticipated to occur that would interrupt the priorities established with this 2015 framework.

  1. First, there may be new stream phosphorus or nitrate listings for streams in the 16 priority HUC 8’s that emerge from the 2016, 2018 or 2022 303(d) lists. These new listings will alter the original universe of priority areas and will have TMDLs developed on them in 2012 -2022. Adjustments will be made to the WQ-27 universe to reflect these additional priorities and targets for 2021 and 2022 will correspond to their TMDL development in those years.
     
  2. Impairments associated with excessive nutrients (pH, deficient DO, stressed biological communities or lake eutrophication) within the 16 priority HUC 8’s may have TMDLs developed on them, as time and staffing dictate. Such TMDLs (“priority non-priorities”) will have any TMDL established on them in 2022. These additional TMDLs will be accounted for within WQ- 28 as supplemental efforts to the primary priority effort.
     
  3. Phosphorus or nitrate impairments on streams outside the 16 priority HUC 8’s may be addressed by alternative means, either NPDES permitting or implementation of 319 watershed plans (WRAPS). As such, technical aid will be provided by calculating the necessary Wasteload Allocations (WLAs) for point source discharges or Load Allocations for non-point sources without developing a formal TMDL on those impaired waters. These situations will be noted as “5-alt” waters in subsequent 303(d) lists. They shall initially be accounted for within WQ-28, however, when the WQ-27 universe will be reset for 2023 – 2032, these waters will be included in that universe and baseline for the performance measure.
     
  4. Some impaired waters, not associated with nutrient pollution, may be hoisted upon the Kansas TMDL program for addressing due to some prevailing social, political, environmental, or economic reason. These impairments may be addressed anytime between 2016 – 2022 through an alternative means (e.g., NPDES or 319-WRAPS), without need for a formal TMDL. These “non-priority priority” alternatives will be identified as “5-alt” waters in subsequent 303(d) lists. It may also be possible that Kansas decides to develop a TMDL on these anomalous impairments. If so, they will be developed in 2022 and accounted for within WQ-28.

Kansas will use the Integrated Report to biennially document the status and changes to the universe of priority waters between 2016 and 2020, with a full accounting of all efforts that occurred from 2011 – 2022 in the 2022 Integrated Report.

5.  Philosophical Shift in Prioritization Considerations between 2006 – 2012 and 2014 – 2022

Over the period 1998 – 2006, TMDL development in Kansas was dictated by the terms and schedule of the 1998 Court Decree regarding such development. Under that schedule, all impairments from the 1996 and 1998 303(d) lists had TMDLs developed on a staggered basis, with all such waters in the 12 major river basins having TMDLs established between 1999 and 2006.

After 2006, control over scheduling reverted back to Kansas and a five-year rotation among the 12 river basins was attempted to address priority impairments within those basins. Priorities during this time, prior to the emergence of the National TMDL Vision in 2012, were a function of the value of impaired waters, e.g., large Federal or State lakes afflicted with eutrophication. Many times, Basin Advisory Committees in each of the 12 river basins advised KDHE on those priorities. Additional priority was given to waters of an interstate nature, e.g., the Arkansas River between Colorado and Kansas; or impairments that were initially of concern by emerging watershed groups, e.g., bacteria in streams. After 2010, consideration grew for listings that had been present for some time, approaching the end of 8-13 year window expressed by EPA as the appropriate pace for TMDL development.

With the advent of the National TMDL Vision and Kansas’ adoption of a Vision Strategy that focuses on nutrient issues, 303(d) priorities became focused on streams impaired by excessive phosphorus or nitrate. Most major lakes with eutrophication already had TMDLs in place, but streams needed attention because of the prevailing anecdotal evidence that excessive nutrients were a problem, because most major NPDES discharges loaded nutrients into streams, not lakes and because the export of high nutrients from Kansas to downstream locales occurred through stream transport. Coinciding with the State’s quest to establish a Nutrient Reduction Framework that would ultimately be implemented through TMDLs, the priorities expressed in this document were established for the time period 2014 - 2022. Some initial work on stream TMDLs had been done and EPA’s approval of the Big Creek phosphorus TMDL in 2011 paved the way for TMDL development on the priority stream systems identified in the 2014 303(d) list.

Pace of TMDL development will be dictated by the schedule within this document. Other pollutants will be deferred until 2023 or thereafter. TMDL development will be concentrated in 16 select HUC 8’s, located within 6 of the 12 major river basins. No TMDL development is expected in the western third of Kansas, nor is certain eastern basins where population and land use stresses or less prevalent than in the priority areas. An evaluation of the outcomes of this priority TMDL process will occur in 2022, after which, there will be a newly established prioritization scheme for the next 10-year period, 2023 – 2032. Priorities anticipated for that next period will be a function of the progress made on nutrient reductions between now and 2022 and the emergence of environmentally and socially significant impairments that warrant near-term attention on the part of the State.

6.  Public Engagement

The interested public has been informed and engaged in the priorities established under the Kansas TMDL Vision since the State undertook its Nutrient Reduction Strategy and Framework over 2004 – 2012. The primary forum for public engagement in the TMDL/303(d) process has always been the 12 Basin Advisory Committees across Kansas. These BAC’s were briefed on the changing philosophy on scheduling TMDL development since 2012.

Additionally, the 16 priority HUC 8’s have been incorporated into the planning strategy of the Kansas Water Plan and its 12 Basin Plans. These 16 HUC 8’s are highlighted as part of the Governor’s 50-year Vision for Future Water Supply in Kansas. Implementation decisions regarding fund allocation for non- point source abatement and Federal initiatives such as the National Water Quality Initiative of USDA have utilized the priority HUC 8’s and associated priority sub-watersheds to place those funds and programs in order to effect nutrient reduction.

One outcome of the Governor’s 50-year Vision is the alteration of the original 12 river basins as the basis for water planning and their replacement as 14 planning regions, which better reflect the blend of surface and ground water resources that dominate certain areas of the state. In keeping with the emerging water planning structure, KDHE has presented how the new planning regions interface with surface waters with nutrient impairments and the priority 16 HUC 8’s directing nutrient reduction, including TMDL development. From the following map, one can see that far western areas of Kansas have no significant nutrient issues in their paltry surface water inventory. Nutrients become more prevalent as issues in the central and eastern portion of the state, but there are still areas where the dominant land use of grassland or forest and low population densities dampen the urgency for nutrient control in regions where surface water is abundant.

Because the Kansas 303(d) Vision is tilted toward implementation potential, the primary audiences for where Kansas TMDL priorities are located are the NPDES community and active watershed management groups overseeing non-point source abatement. Numerous discussions and presentations have been made to these groups and their associations to convey the sense of priority that Kansas is taking with nutrients and TMDLs between now and 2022. Major wastewater dischargers and MS4 urban stormwater programs have been fully briefed on these priorities.  Interaction between the TMDL program and the 319 program ensures that watershed planning and implementation are coordinated with an eye toward nutrient reductions. Subsequent plan revisions will reflect those priorities and coincide with the priorities presented within this document.

Starting with the 2014 Integrated Report, the 303(d) priorities have been displayed and the rationale behind their enhanced status explained to stakeholders interested in the Kansas environment. The priorities and this document will posted on both the water quality assessment and TMDL development websites of KDHE for public access and review.

Nutrient Impairments

Figure B2.  Nutrient impaired streams and the Kansas Water Office water planning regions.

7.  CONCLUSION

This prioritization framework represents Kansas’ direction for its 303(d) program, scheduling TMDL development to reflect nutrient reduction on priority streams where stresses, value, and opportunities are prevalent. Sufficient flexibility has been designed into the schedule to account for slippage in TMDL development and emergence of additional priorities or issues of concern between now and 2022. The priorities lend themselves to easy translation to populate the new performance measures WQ-27 and WQ-28, allowing for full accounting of TMDL progress leading into the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act in 2022. Finally, aggressive adherence to this schedule will expedite Kansas’ Nutrient Reduction Framework to move implementation toward real environmental benefits realized through less ambient phosphorus present in stream systems and the accompanying responses in the biological and chemical conditions of those streams more fully supporting their designated uses of aquatic life support, recreation and public water supply, as decreed by Kansas Water Quality Standards.

 

Establishing Total Maximum Daily Loads

Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) are viewed as the quantitative objectives and strategies needed to achieve water quality standards. The water quality standards, themselves, constitute the goals of water quality adequate to fully support designated uses of streams, lakes, and wetlands. The process of developing TMDLs determines:

  • the pollutants causing water quality impairments,
  • the degree of deviation away from applicable water quality standards,
  • the levels of pollution reduction or pollutant loading needed to attain achievement of water quality standards,
  • corrective actions, including load allocations, to be implemented among point and non- point sources in the watershed affecting the water quality limited water body and,
  • the monitoring and evaluation strategies needed to assess the impact of corrective actions in achieving TMDLs and water quality standards, including,
  • provisions for future revision of TMDLs based on those evaluations.

In Kansas, TMDL development will follow the process described in the EPA's Guidance for Water Quality-Based Decisions: The TMDL Process as well as the seven TMDL components suggested in the recommendations of the Federal Advisory Committee on the TMDL Program in its final report, issued July 1998.  The TMDL process involves:

  1. Selection of the pollutant to consider, identifying the problem and defining the goal for improved water quality
     
  2. Determination of the assimilative capacity of the water body to receive that pollutant without violation of the applicable water quality standard and the current deviations exceeding that assimilative capacity.
     
  3. Estimation of the type, location and magnitude of pollutant sources contributing loads to the waterbody.
     
  4. Estimation of the linked relationship between those pollutant sources and their relative impact on the ambient water quality of the water body, including the anticipated response in water quality conditions upon load modifications arising from the contributing sources.
     
  5. Allocation of permissible loads among point, non-point and background sources of contributed pollutant reaching the waterbody. Assignment of responsibility for implementing corrective actions among point sources and non-point sources. Establishment of a margin of safety to safeguard the quality of the environment against uncertain relationships between pollutant contributions and ambient water quality.
     
  6. Follow-up monitoring to assess the level of implementation along the water body and within the watershed and to evaluate the impact of that implementation on the water quality condition of the impaired waterbody.
     
  7. A feedback mechanism which allows TMDLs and their implementation to iterate toward progressive improvement in water quality, as determined though compliance with water quality standards, over time and in response to evaluated information on the effective impact of corrective actions on water quality.

More specifically, each TMDL Kansas submits to EPA will contain the following components:

A.  Problem Identification. The pollutant causing the impairment and the designated uses which are impaired will be identified. The rationale for listing the stream segment, watershed or lake on the Section 303(d) list will be described.

B.  Current Situation and Desired Objective. The desired outcome of this TMDL process will be expressed, using the current situation as the reference condition of impairment. Deviations from the water quality standards will be documented. From the Kansas perspective, outcomes will be expressed in terms of the minimum frequency (how often), magnitude (how much) and duration (how long) of future deviations above the applicable water quality standard.

In the case of TMDLs involving numeric criteria and empirical stream or lake chemistry monitoring data, Kansas will develop load duration analyses which will describe the idealized desired loadings across the spectrum of flow conditions. Such analyses will be developed using the long term flow historic duration of a stream and converting that cumulative frequency distribution of daily flows into loads by applying the appropriate numeric criteria to the flows and making the appropriate conversions.

The resulting curve relates the load distribution over time and flow conditions which would attain and maintain water quality standards. Empirical data from the stream chemistry monitoring network can overlay this curve by determining the flow conditions when the individual sample was taken, the sample data's relative position is determined by the percent exceedance of that flow over the long term, converting the sampled concentration by applying the flow and conversion values. Points plotting above the curve represent deviations from the water quality standard and the permissible loading function, those plotting below the curve represent compliance with standards and represent adequate quality support for the appropriate designated use. Similar analysis can be done for certain lakes, using cumulative frequency distributions of their volume or elevation.

Comparative analysis such as this allows the state to assess the frequency of deviations (how many samples lie above the curve vs. those that plot below); magnitude (how far the deviations plot away from the curve); and duration (potentially how long the deviation is present). The issue of duration can be viewed in terms of the flow conditions under which violations of the standards arise. In this analysis, loads which plot above the curve in the flow regime defined as being exceeded 85-99 percent of the time are likely indicative of point source influences on the water quality. Those plotting above the curve over the range of 10-70 percent exceedance likely reflect non-point contributions. Some combination of the two source categories lies in the transition zone of 70-85 percent exceedance. Those plotting above the curve at exceedances less than 10 percent or more than 99 percent reflect extreme hydrologic conditions of flood or drought.

This analysis allows a triage approach to identifying the likely significance of various sources along the waterbody or within the watershed and their contributions to the impaired condition seen within the water quality of the waterbody. Similar analysis is then conducted on a seasonal basis, using three seasons: winter low flow: November-March; spring runoff: April-June; and summer/fall baseflow: July-October. Each analysis serves to identify the critical time periods when water quality conditions deteriorate. Through this analysis, the circumstances and contributing factors of each deviation may be isolated and analyzed as part of the remaining components of the TMDL.

For impairments involving narrative criteria or biomonitoring data, surrogate indicators will be developed to define the TMDL objective. Such indicators include biotic index values, trophic state indices, number of acres covered by macrophytes, etc. Use of time trends in those surrogates will document the current conditions and will be used to define the quantitative outcome desired from establishing the TMDL and making progress toward reducing pollution and impairment in the identified waterbody.

For those waterbodies listed as a result of simulation model results indicating probable violation of water quality standards and impaired uses, the results of the modeling will be used along with sensitivity analysis to adequately define the conditions leading to impairment and the impact of intervening corrective actions toward improving those conditions.

In all situations, the TMDL will state its objective in meeting the appropriate water quality standard by quantifying the degree of pollution reduction expected over time on a mass, volume or percent basis. Interim objectives or milestones will also be defined for midpoints in the implementation process. In some situations, such interim objectives will look for progress in moving the condition of an impaired waterbody from a condition of non-support to one of partial support en route to the ultimate objective of full support of that water's designated uses.

C.  Source Assessment. Each pollutant source contributing to the deviation from the water quality standards will be identified and their relative contribution to the impaired situation determined/ Based on the flow-load analysis, judgments can be made on the degree point and non-point sources are contributing to the current condition. The number of sources, their geographic location along the segment or within the watershed, the type of source, the magnitude of their potential pollutant loading and their degree of influence on water quality will be identified.

For point sources, the assessment will include the type of wastewater and treatment they use, the volume of their discharged effluent, degree of compliance with existing permits, the limits in place on current permits, the expiration date of those existing permits, their potential for future growth and the expected flow conditions which they are expected to protect. Situations where the point source impacts will accumulate in a watershed setting or in a downstream manner will also be described.

For non-point sources, information will be gathered on the land uses within the watershed, the underlying topographic and soil features, likely contributing areas producing runoff, percent of impervious area within the watershed producing stormwater discharges, stream-aquifer interactions, existing management practices in place and the limits of those practices to influence hydrologic extremes, and types of water use present along the streams and lakes, including diversions of that water.

This component will also present any documented information on the background levels of pollutants emanating from natural sources or sources lying outside the effective area under TMDL development. Levels of spatial or temporal uncertainty in the flow and water quality conditions of the impaired water body and its watershed will be expressed as part of the background assessment.

D.  Load Allocation. In this context, allocation has the dual meaning of allocation actual allowable pollutant loadings among point and non-point sources as well as the more significant role of assigning appropriate responsibility of pollution reduction to sources and activities influencing the water quality of the impaired stream or lake. This component will lay the groundwork for implementation action to correct or improve the source impacts on water quality. A hierarchy of relative contributions among the sources will be established so that initial efforts will focus on those sources with greater influences. Considerations will be made of future alterations in those sources, seasonal variations and defined flow conditions. A margin of safety will be declared as part of the TMDL objective to provide safeguards to the waterbody from the uncertainty inherent in the impacts of point and non-point sources. The margin of safety will likely vary by pollutant.

E.  Implementation. This component will describe the actions to be taken to control and manage point and non-point source contributions to pollutant loadings. Typically, a ten year period of implementation actions will be anticipated after TMDL approval. In the case of point sources (municipal, industrial and livestock), allocations of wasteloads will be made through renewed NPDES permits. The state will strive to place all NPDES permits along a segment, string of segments, within a watershed and eventually throughout each basin on the same schedule. For those point sources needing improvements, a compliance schedule will be developed. Use of the Kansas Water Pollution Control Revolving Loan Fund for upgrading wastewater facilities will continue to assign additional priority points to those scheduled projects discharging into a stream listed under Section 303(d) and subject to the conditions of a TMDL. Permits will reflect TMDL objectives by placing water quality based limitations on effluent discharges. In some cases, individual permits will assign the individual allocation of a wastewater load to a discharger, reflecting the distribution of wasteload allocations among the group of point sources sharing a common waterbody.

The principal mechanism of implementation for non-point sources will be targeted technical assistance, educational outreach and financial resources directed toward placing best management practices in critical contributing areas of watersheds influencing the water quality of listed streams and lakes. The key strategy will be to reduce pollutant loadings from these areas to the maximum extent practicable. Most of these efforts will rely on voluntary, incentive based approaches, consistent with current practice of the Kansas Water Plan, KDHE’s Watershed Management Section and the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) activities and federal programs, such as Environmental Quality Improvement Program (EQIP). Reasonable assurances can be made to implement this strategy with the use of the Kansas Water Plan and its supporting programs, its Annual Implementation Plan to set short term priorities for those programs, the $16 million annually available from the State Water Plan Fund and the development of Unified Watershed Assessments (UWAs; described in the Water Quality Management Plan section) to funnel federal funds such as Section 319 grants and EQIP into priority subbasins and watersheds. TMDLs will supplement efforts to improve quality in the priority watersheds identified through the UWA process, by directing resources to priority locations within those watersheds.

The Kansas Water Plan supports water quality protection efforts through directing and funding a number of programs such as non-point source pollution technical assistance, non-point pollution control cost sharing, local environmental protection planning, water resource cost-share, wetland and riparian protection, subbasin water resource management, water quality buffer initiatives, biological monitoring, stream gaging, research evaluations and basin assessments. With the call by the Kansas Water Authority to significantly increase the percentage of stream miles and lake acres which fully support their designated uses by the year 2010, implementation of TMDLs, particularly related to non-point source activities, will work toward achieving that Water Plan goal as well as the goals of the surface water quality standards.

Three mechanisms exist within state authority to address pollution sources, particularly those of a non-point nature.

1.  Critical Water Quality Management Areas. Watersheds may be designated as critical water quality management areas because of pollutant sources which cause or may reasonably be expected to cause, damage to resources of the state; public nuisance or health hazards; destruction of fishery habitat; excessive deposition of sediments on river bottoms, lakes or reservoirs; additional risk to threatened or endangered fish or wildlife or violation of water quality standards. The Department of Health and Environment evaluates all the pollutant sources and the extent by which they contribute to pollution problems within a proposed area and determines the technical and economic feasibility of simultaneous control of all pollutant sources. A proposed management plan is set forth with an implementation schedule for control of each source, an analysis of the costs and benefits of the plan and the boundaries of the proposed area. Considerable public input is solicited in the pre-designation phase, and the preparation of the management plan as well as formal public hearings on the proposed designation of the area.

2.  Pesticide Management Area. The Kansas Department of Agriculture is empowered to develop pesticide management areas when notified by EPA or KDHE that a pesticide poses a serious threat to the public health, safety and welfare or to the natural resources of the state. Such areas are developed upon examination of precipitation, topography, soils and depths to ground water and are designated as permitted, modified or prohibited in the use of certain types of pesticides. The Department uses a technical advisory committee in establishing the boundaries and management plan for the proposed area. Designation of the proposed area and its management plan is subject to public notice and comment through public hearings.

3.  Source Water Protection Planning. Under the guise of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, the Department of Health and Environment is to stimulate, provide assistance and coordinate the development of state and local source water assessments to protect public water supplies. Such assessment planning delineates local public water supplies, inventories pollutant sources, analyzes the susceptibility of the pollutant risks and informs the public on the present conditions, risks and risk reduction plans associated with their water supplies. The program is coordinated with the State Wellhead Protection Program assessing the protection of ground water supplies. In many situations, developed plans are implemented through actual protective measures in the source water contributing areas falling under local jurisdiction of zoning and ordinances to reduce pollutant threats.

F.  Follow-up Monitoring. Follow-up monitoring will be conducted in order to further reduce the uncertainty in environmental impacts of pollutant source contributions and alteration encountered in establishing the objectives and implementation of TMDLs and to determine the effectiveness of implementing actions on improving water quality. Monitoring is conducted on numerous fronts. Implementation monitoring tracks the degree to which corrective or management practices have been put in place for point and non-point sources along the segment or within the watershed. Non-point measures might include acres of land treatment implemented over time, increases in riparian area adjacent to streams, number of agricultural producers participating in cost-share programs and participation in outreach education events focused upon non-point source reductions. Point source monitoring would include compliance monitoring relative to existing and future NPDES permits, episodes of combined sewer overflows, status of scheduled upgrades in treatment facilities, episodes of emergency bypass through treatment works, maintenance schedules and upkeep for treatment facilities and ongoing training for treatment works operators.

Resource monitoring assesses the improvement in water quality conditions in the identified impaired waterbody. Baselines need to be established documenting current conditions. Generally, water quality data taken over a ten-year period will serve as the benchmark by which implementation of TMDLs will improve upon. Data will be examined in summarized form and as to trends over time. The ambient stream chemistry network will be generally maintained, with possible suggestions to expand spatial and temporal coverage in terms of additional sites and frequency of collection. Biomonitoring will continue to play a chief role in representing the integrated impacts of activities on water quality as registered by the supported biota of a stream or lake. The measure of success will be reductions in the frequency, magnitude and duration of violations of the water quality standards over the next decade.

Occasionally, synoptic surveys may be conducted to further evaluate loadings in a watershed setting above historic monitoring points, confirming load contributions from tributary areas within the watershed. Low flow intensive surveys will document impacts of effluent discharges on receiving waters. Stormwater monitoring may be recommended to further evaluate the contributions of urbanized areas on non-point loadings. Some follow up modeling may also be conducted, using BASINS, QUAL-2K, EUTROMOD, CNET, BATHTUB, AnnAGNPS, GWLF etc, to verify previous results, leading to implementation decisions and to further discern locations and conditions needing treatment in order to achieve the TMDL objectives.

The utilization of modeling applications to assist in TMDL development and follow up monitoring are anticipated to become more frequently utilized to predict watershed and loading conditions in selected watersheds.

The purpose of these monitoring efforts is to continue to guide implementation actions toward those opportunities creating the greatest, timely benefits in improving water quality. Monitoring should look toward trends of improvement and the meeting of interim milestones established within the period of TMDL implementation. In all cases, follow up monitoring will incorporate appropriate quality assurance/quality control protocols to assure the reliability of the data used for verification, increased scrutiny and evaluation of management practices.

G.  Feedback Mechanism. As stated previously, Kansas intends to use a decade of implementation and monitoring after TMDL establishment to maximize the opportunity of placing resources on pollutant sources at the basin scale. This timeframe also increases the likelihood to discern the signal of positive influence amidst the variable noise associated with flow and water quality data, particularly in non-point source situations. There will be interim objectives incorporated within the TMDL implementation schedule to assess the direction of corrective actions at the midpoint of implementation and make appropriate adjustments. All implementation actions are available for review and adjustment within the timeframe of trying to accomplish the objectives of the TMDLs. NPDES permits are renewed at least every five years. Best Management Practices are subject to availability of funding and administrative policies and will reflect revised directions provided by the Kansas Water Plan and its Annual Implementation Plan.

 

Public Participation Process

Kansas intends to use the existing Water Planning Process to create opportunities for coordination with other agencies, interest groups and the general public.

Internally, the Department of Health and Environment will convene appropriate intra-agency work groups to address specific issues of TMDL establishment and implementation. Such work groups include staff from the Bureau of Water dealing in water quality standards, municipal permits, livestock permits, non-point source pollution, monitoring, biomonitoring, use attainability analysis, data analysis, geographic information and planning. The WPMAS Section will interact with the other state agencies on TMDLs through the coordination functions of the Kansas Water Office, the Kansas Water Authority and the Kansas Water Plan.

Agency coordination is assured through monthly agency meetings, the Governor's Water Quality Coordinating Committee, the Kansas Water Authority's Quality Committee and staff-level interactions. The Quality Committee of the Kansas Water Authority receives briefings on water quality protection activities of the state, particularly those which implement the Kansas Water Plan. The Committee makes policy and budget recommendations influencing implementation activities centered on improving the water quality conditions of the state. The committee meets coincidently with the quarterly meetings of the Kansas Water Authority in January, April, July and October and provide public forums. Basin Advisory Committees are present in each of the 12 major river basins, appointed by the Kansas Water Authority to advise the Authority on basin issues and concerns relative to the programs and policies of the Kansas Water Plan. The 11 members of the BAC reside in the basin and represent some aspect of water use in the basin; domestic, municipal, industrial, irrigation, fish, wildlife and recreation, as well as the interested public. The chief responsibility of the BAC is to advise the Kansas Water Office and the Kansas Water Authority on the issues of the basin, the desired direction of applicable state programs and guidance of such programs through the provisions of its Basin Plan. Such plans reflect the direction and priorities of the basin relative to issues of water supply, water quality, flooding, environmental protection, fish, wildlife and recreation, water conservation and data and research. These plans represent the basis for setting priorities through the Annual Implementation Process.

The State Water Planning Process is typically framed around the state fiscal year. Beginning in July, issues of policy and basin specific concern are investigated and analyzed, culminating in the possible release of a preliminary draft of a policy or basin subsection of the Kansas Water Plan in January. During the initial six months, background information is collected, preliminary ideas are discussed and evaluation of the issues is completed at the BAC and Water Authority levels. The preliminary drafts approved for release by the Authority in January summarize the issue and its background information and present initial options and recommendations for public consideration. Public meetings are held throughout the state in March, after which, public comments are incorporated and a working draft of the proposed subsection is prepared for Authority review at its April meeting. The Authority approves the working draft for release to the public for formal comment and testimony at public hearings in June. After those hearings, the comments are considered in redrafting the subsection into a final draft for presentation and approval to the Kansas Water Authority at its July meeting. Should the Authority approve the subsection in July, it becomes part of the Kansas Water Plan, applicable as state policy and authority for implementation, including using funds from the State Water Plan Fund.

Funding issues are handled though the Annual Implementation Plan which is framed around the budget preparation schedule of the state agencies. The process typically starts in January and February with the collection of information from the agencies on the status of achieving the previous and current year implementation objectives, current activities, raised issues and suggested direction for the next fiscal year. That information is presented to Basin Advisory Committees in the spring and the Authority issues the implementation plan at its July meeting in order for state agencies to incorporate the recommendations in their next fiscal year budget requests submitted on September 15. At the October meetings of the BAC and the Authority, the agency budgets are analyzed relative to the implementation plan and recommendations are made from the Authority to the Governor and Legislature regarding allocations of State Water Plan Funds to the various state agency programs.

With the impending work on TMDLs across the state, the Authority has authorized expenditures from the State Water Plan Fund for developing and implementing TMDLs. Plans also call for the incorporation of specific TMDLs and priorities for implementation within the basins into each of the specific Basin Plans of the Kansas Water Plan during the time period that TMDL work is underway within that basin. The proposed Basin Plan subsections will include background information, including the impaired water bodies in the basin and the associated pollutants; the linkage of TMDL development to the Water Quality Protection Strategy policy subsection of the Kansas Water Plan; priorities for TMDL implementation in that basin, identification of programs to be used in implementing TMDLs in the basin; and any data, monitoring and research needs in the basin associated with TMDLs.

By incorporating TMDLs into the Basin Plans, the Kansas TMDL process will use the public participation aspects of the State Water Planning Process. Briefings will be made to the Kansas Water Authority at its quarterly meetings. Monthly meetings with the BAC in the basin where TMDL work is being conducted is anticipated. The March public meeting in that basin will center on the question of TMDLs and their implications for basin activities. Likewise, the June public hearings will take testimony not only on the TMDL subsection of the Basin Plan, but on the TMDLs themselves. Additionally, basin specific TMDL public forums will be scheduled for April of each year at a couple of locations within the basin to facilitate a dialogue among the agencies, the general public, impacted dischargers, interest groups and municipalities on the TMDLs and their implementation.

Recognizing that tangent deliberations occur outside the State Water Planning Process, the Department is also scheduling regular meetings with the interest groups representing municipalities, agriculture and environmental concerns. Such organizations include the League of Kansas Municipalities, the Kansas Farm Bureau, the Kansas Natural Resources Council, etc. Basin specific interest groups will also be solicited for input and advice as the TMDLs specific to the water resources of their concern are developed. Additionally, specific task forces will be used for unique water resources or pollutants to help establish TMDLs for those situations. KDHE will develop, maintain and update a TMDL website on their agency Internet home page to provide the public with the status and new developments of TMDL activities on a statewide and basin specific basis.

The input received through these forums and the other outlets provided by the State Water Planning Process will be incorporated within the submittal of the TMDLs to EPA by June 30 of each year. Approximately two weeks after those TMDLs are submitted, the Department will also submit the approved Basin Plan TMDL

subsection of the Kansas Water Plan approved by the Kansas Water Authority prior to July 15.