OEPA has been in the process of developing water quality rules for PHWH streams. It’s important to define what these streams are, and to have rules for protecting PHWH.
TNC map, 2012 C:\\Documents and Settings\\asasson\\My Documents\\Streams - Ohio as of 20121228\\Water Quality Standards - Ohio as of 20120529\\Ohio WQS of 12_8_2010 Proposed\\WQS of 12_8_2010\\Ohio EPA Workgroup 2012\\PHWH maps
http://www.glc.org/basin/project.html?id=207 The District also received the ‘Head of the Class Award’ from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for its visionary approach to and development of the Headwater Stream Initiative Program. The District feels this was a significant event in promoting the development of a statewide strategy for the protection of headwater streams through erosion and sediment control.
have as the initial entry of pollutants to the aquatic ecosystem, their role in supplying water and nutrients to the stream network ecosystem, and because of the biological life that is dependent on their existence, such as headwater-dependant fish and amphibians. These streams determine the quality of downstream waters. Establishment of primary headwater habitat could help to protect biological life and a habitat type that is far too often overlooked and lost, as well as helping to protect downstream uses. http://myrockyriver.ning.com/photo/longtailed-salamander
Field Evaluation Manual for Ohio’s Primary Headwater Streams - 1.1.1 Class I PHWH [OAC 3745-1-07 (F)(9)(d)(i)]: (proposed 2012) Class I PHWH streams are ephemeral streams. They have little or no aquatic life potential, except seasonally when flowing water is present for short time periods following precipitation or snow melt. Streams assigned to Class I PHWH may be typified by one or more of the following characteristics: • no significant habitat for aquatic fauna; • no significant aquatic wildlife use; and • limited or no potential to achieve higher PHWH class functions. Photo: Http://www.epa.ohio.gov/dsw/wqs/headwaters/photos/class1.aspx
1.1.2 Class II PHWH [OAC 3745-1-07 (F)(9)(d)(ii)]: (proposed) Class II PHWH streams are normally intermittent but may have perennial flow. They may exhibit moderately diverse communities of warm water adapted native fauna present either seasonally or year-round. The native fauna is characterized by species of vertebrates (temperature facultative species of amphibians and pioneering species of fish) and benthic macroinvertebrates. Pool depth and water volume are normally insufficient to support the biological criteria associated with other sub-categories of aquatic life described OAC Rule 3745-1-07. Prevailing temperature conditions in Class II PHWH streams prevent establishment of Class III biology and function. Left - Upper Sandusky Reservoir Expansion – from Paul Anderson, Ohio EPA Right - http://www.epa.ohio.gov/dsw/wqs/headwaters/photos/class2.aspx Modified stream in Amboy Township (Fulton County)
Ohio EPA photos 1.1.3 Class III PHWH [OAC 3745-1-07 (F)(9)(d)(iii)]: (proposed) Class III PHWH streams are perennial streams in which the prevailing flow and temperature conditions in Class III PHWH streams are influenced by groundwater. They exhibit moderately diverse to highly diverse communities of cold water adapted native fauna present year-round. Pool depth and water volume are normally insufficient to support the biological criteria associated with other sub-categories of aquatic life described OAC Rule 3745-1-07.
Primary Headwater HabitatStreamsAnthony Sasson, The Nature ConservancyOEC Legislative Summit, February 1. 2013
Primary Headwater Habitat Streams: What are they, and why be concerned?1. Types (Class I, II, III)2. Distribution of headwater streams (map)3. Importance of these streams4. Impacts (development, mining , roads)5. Legally defining PHWH streams
Primary Headwater Habitat StreamsWhy a different classification for Primary Headwater Streams compared to other streams?• First or second order streams (beginnings of the stream network)• Less than one square mile (640 acres drainage area)• Standard Ohio stream classification used for Clean Water Act does not fit these small streams
Importance of Primary Headwater Habitat streams• First to receive water and pollutants• Easiest to degrade (pollutants and habitat)• Supply most of the water, nutrients, energy, biology to rest of the watershed’s streams• Headwater-dependant fish, amphibians and other aquatic life• Help determine downstream health; cumulative impacts from loss of these streams tailed salamander, Rocky River watershed Long Rocky River Watershed Council• Aesthetics
Primary Headwater HabitatStreamsClass I streams Class I PHWH streams are ephemeral streams, warm water, little aquatic life Ohio EPA photos
Primary Headwater Habitat Streams Class II streams • Intermittent but may have perennial flow • Warm water • Moderately diverse • Some fish, amphibiansOhio EPA photos
Primary Headwater Habitat Streams Class III streams Perennial flow influenced by groundwater Moderately diverse to highly diverse aquatic lifeOhio EPA photos
Primary Headwater Habitat Streams Class III streamTNC photo
Primary Headwater Habitat Streams Class III streamTNC photo Dace – ODNR photos
PHWH streams flow into these larger streams and determine their health TNC photoOhio EPA photo
Impacts to Primary Headwater Habitat streams• Development –Commercial and residential• Mining – Coal, Stone/sand & gravel• Roads – Highway expansions, new street development• Shale gas development - access roads, pipelines, drilling pads
Mitigation for Primary Headwater Habitat streams Mitigation importance: PHWH are ~1/2 of mitigation needs in Ohio streamsWashington County PHWH, Marietta College photo Ohio EPA photo
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