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Regional Water Issues, Fluornoy, Karen; Tate, Mike; Madras, John; Walsack, Phil; Evans, Parthy

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EPA Region 7, EPA, Region 7, Waters of the United States, Water Security, Nonpoint Source, NPS, Nutrients, Ammonia, Kansas, KS, NHD, National Hydrography Dataset, Drury Creek, Cheyene County, dam permit, finding leaks, fixing leaks, drought, dry summer, Chesapeake Bay, Mississippi River Basin, municipal lagoons

Published in: Environment, Technology
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Regional Water Issues, Fluornoy, Karen; Tate, Mike; Madras, John; Walsack, Phil; Evans, Parthy

  1. 1. REGIONAL WATER ISSUES Panelists • Karen Flournoy, U.S. EPA Region 7 • Mike Tate, KDHE • John Madras, MDNR • Phil Walsack, MPUA • Parthy Evans, Stinson Leonard Street LLP • Ed Galbrath
  2. 2. REGIONAL WATER ISSUES 1. Waters of the United States 2. Water Security 3. Nonpoint Source Pollution 4. Nutrients 5. Ammonia
  3. 3. Waters of the US • How will traditional Clean Water Act programs be applied to ephemeral waters? – § 402 NPDES permitting – § 303d Impaired Waters/TMDLs – § 404 Dredge and Fill Permits
  4. 4. Currently Identified “Waters of the US” In Kansas
  5. 5. National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) In Kansas “…used to portray surface water on The National Map…” Source - USGS website
  6. 6. NHD Close Up Hamilton Kearney Franklin Miami Anderson Linn
  7. 7. Drury Cr – Cheyenne County
  8. 8. Stream Density Rank State Miles Area (sq mi) Stream Mi/Area (mi/sq mi)Total Perennial Non Perennial 1 North Carolina 242,691 123,772 118,918 53,818 4.51 2 South Carolina 69,434 34,961 34,473 32,020 2.17 3 Ohio 85,004 48,599 36,405 44,825 1.90 4 Pennsylvania 83,260 39,179 44,081 46,056 1.81 5 Mississippi 84,003 26,454 54,862 48,431 1.73 6 Arkansas 87,617 28,408 53,465 53,179 1.65 7 Kansas 134,338 23,731 110,225 82,276 1.63 8 Missouri 110,040 25,590 84,450 69,704 1.58 9 Illinois 87,110 30,246 54,741 57,914 1.50
  9. 9. Waters of the United States A Balancing Act Dear Mr. Owner: It has come to the attention of the EPA that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been identified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity: Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond. A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the agency's files shows that no permits have been issued. Therefore, the Agency has determined that this activity is in violation of section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
  10. 10. The EPA therefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel in accordance with a plan to be approved by EPA. All restoration work shall be completed no later than December 31, 2014. EPA notes that both dams recently failed in a large rain event endangering property and the perpetuation of the free flowing attributes of this stream. Failure to comply with this order or any further unauthorized activity on the site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action. Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions. Sincerely, .
  11. 11. WOUS/NPS/NUTRIENTS A True Balancing Act Dear Mr. EPA, Your certified letter been handed to me to respond to. I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor of the referenced property. A couple of beavers are in the process of constructing and maintaining two wood "debris" dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of nature's building materials "debris.“ I would like to challenge EPA to attempt to emulate their dam project any time and/or any place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic. As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity.
  12. 12. If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through the Freedom of Information Act, I request completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued. Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of section 404 of the Clean Water Act. I have several concerns. My first concern is; aren't the beavers entitled to legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation -- so the government will have to provide them with a dam lawyer.
  13. 13. The EPA's dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event, causing flooding, is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the I had thought EPA is required to protect. In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling their dam names. If you want the stream "restored" to a dam free-flow condition please contact the beavers -- but if you are going to arrest them, they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter, they being unable to read English. In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream. They have more dam rights than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond. If the Environmental Protection Agency lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources (Beavers) and the environment (Beavers' Dams). So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until January? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice then, and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them then.
  14. 14. WATER SECURITY • Resiliency – Drought – Flood • Climate Change – Storage of Water When We Have it • Infrastructure – Treatment – Storage – Collection – Distribution
  15. 15.  What does it mean to me? Remember… I am a simple man that used to be just a water & wastewater system operator.
  16. 16. I am a simple man that used to be just a water & wastewater system operator.  Put the drinking water back in the water system’s distribution pipes.
  17. 17.  All these fancy regulations are not fixing the root cause of water security failure.  My opinion (albeit….simple) is that we lack the resolve to fix our water security problem because…
  18. 18.  Unappreciated (by both municipal management and regulatory agencies).  Under-noticed (by the City fathers and news media).  Cost Effective (but only over the long haul).
  19. 19.  In essence…finding and fixing leaking water pipes is too boring to do well!  Talk to me about “droughts” (you really mean a dry summer) & “effects of climate change on water sources” when the Midwestern States have water loss rates less than 20%.
  20. 20. This pipe is 6 feet long. There are 14 full-circle clamps on this section. They cost $10.49 each. Total repair cost is $146.86 A new 8-foot section of PVC pipe costs $7.19. Add the 2 couplers that cost about $1.00 each. Total replacement cost is $9.19 “We the People” spent that $146.86
  21. 21. Spending $10.49 for each full-circle clamp was cost effective in the short term. But we were robbed over the long haul. Why did we over-spend by $137.00?
  22. 22. NONPOINT SOURCE • Tends To Be Largest Source of Pollution in Region • What is Best Way to Minimize? • Are Current Programs Sufficient? • How Can We Bring Equity Between NPS and PS?
  23. 23. NUTRIENTS • Significant Regional Issue • How Are Nutrients Being Addressed • Legal Challenges – Chesapeake Bay – Mississippi River Basin • Gulf Restoration Network, et al v. Gina McCarthy, et al
  24. 24. THE BALANCING IS NOW JUGGLING In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention to a real environmental quality (health) problem in the area. It is the bears! Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone. I have read that there is an enormous problem with non point source pollution in this country and with nutrient pollution. It seems to me that something the size of a bear scat would be a pretty serious given the level of attention given to something as natural as beaver dams. If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your step! (The bears are not careful where they dump!) Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office. THANK YOU. OWNER & THE DAM BEAVERS
  25. 25. AMMONIA • New Criteria Are Out – ~2.5 X More Stringent Than Current Criteria • How To Comply? • Build More/Enhanced Treatment • Reuse Wastewater • Variance – Kansas Proposed Lagoon Variance
  26. 26. Philip Walsack Manager Environmental Services
  27. 27. Ammonia Benefit Computations In May 2013, the regulators began occasionally reporting ammonia reduction benefits. In an analysis of 63 Permits whose proposed sewer rate was greater than 2.0% of the MHI, 21 ammonia benefit reductions were made. In 14 of the 21 cases, the ammonia benefit was over-stated by using the design flow rather than the actual flow.
  28. 28. Ammonia Benefit Computations If this over-statement practice expands, politicians (or worse)… the public may figure this out. A blowback might then occur…. And, our State’s progress toward water quality improvements may come to screeching halt as the “Adults” just do not believe “the science” anymore.
  29. 29. The “Adult” Lagoon Conversation How many lagoon facilities does your State have? Is your State’s database searchable and sort-able? There are 366 municipal lagoon facilities in Missouri, (but very few people know this fact). Collectively, Missouri’s design flow for all of its facilities is 62 MGD with an actual flow of 47 MGD.
  30. 30. The “Adult” Lagoon Conversation The 366 municipal lagoon facilities in Missouri are grouped as follows: 37 = 1 cell 65 = 2 cell 221 = 3 cell 43 = > 3 cell
  31. 31. The “Adult” Lagoon Conversation The 366 municipal lagoons 37 = 1 cell 65 = 2 cell 221 = 3 cell 43 = > 3 cell
  32. 32. The “Adult” Lagoon Conversation Of the 366 municipal lagoon facilities in Missouri, there are 37 facilities that are hydraulically- overloaded.
  33. 33. The “Adults” Need the Facts Before They Act

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