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E-M:/ TMDL and nonpoint sources



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Enviro-Mich message from "MICHAEL W. MURRAY" <MURRAY@nwf.org>
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  Just to add to Charles Cubbage's point below on nonpoint sources of
pollutants to a watershed: these sources include atmospheric deposition.
The atmosphere is a major source (really a secondary source after
emissions to the air from point or nonpoint sources) of new loadings of
many toxic pollutants to Great Lakes and other watersheds. 
    Also, a reminder for those who missed it the first time around: The
National Wildlife Federation recently released a field guide to watershed
restoration using TMDLs, entitled Saving Our Watersheds. It is available
online at:
http://www.nwf.org/northeast/watersheds/index.html

The report can also be ordered from:
     National Wildlife Federation
     Great Lakes Natural Resource Center 
     506 E. Liberty St., 2nd Floor
     Ann Arbor, MI  48104
     734-769-3351
     734-769-1449 (fax)
     nwfgrlks@igc.apc.org

   Mike Murray
   NWF
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Enviro-Mich message from "Charles Cubbage" <CubbageC@state.mi.us>
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Alex,  
Thanks for the item on Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).  As most of
you may know, in simplified version, TMDLs are called for by the Clean
Water Act that requires states to identify impaired waters and then set a
total max daily load (TMDL - for each pollutant), based essentially on the
watershed's carrying capacity - that level which is supposed to keep the
water fishable and swimable.  

Michigan agencies and interested groups including env and citizen reps
are involved in watershed management and water resource protection
very heavily now on a number of fronts.  MDEQ is revising its list of
impaired waters from 34 to what will likely be 300+ (for the TMDL
program).  

Also, a state-wide non-point source relative risk work group is meeting,
as is a state-wide water quality trading work group.  For the un-initiated,
non-point source (NPS) includes items such as ag, development, urban
and other storm water run off, golf courses, road maintenance &
development.  In any given watershed, the mix of who is doing what to
whom is variable.  

I hope that as the opportunity to be involved arises, you do so.  For many
people this electronic bulletin board is a good way to ask questions and
at the least to keep informed.  I hope those of us who are already
involved can keep info flowing.  I will try to do so as best I can, but like
most of you, I retrieve somewhere around 100 messages per day.  

As many of you know, I belong to East Mich Env Action Council but also
wear an MDA hat as Science Advisor.  Regardless of the hats we wear,
protecting our water resources for ourselves, our children, and for the
sake of the ecosystems that cannot speak for themselves, needs to be
our collective focus.  The TMDL, water qual trading, and NPS
recommendations will be important.  I strongly believe that ag activities
need not conflict with env resources.  Sustainable human activities,
whether ag related or urban can be designed to be environmentally
friendly and economically feasible if we seek out the options.  But we
need to all sit at the table in order to fit it together.  

With that in mind, I am heavily involved in the Kalamazoo Water Quality
Demonstration Project.  It deals with point-non-point phosphorus water
qual trading credits.  The Kazoo Foundation has received significant
grants and private industry  funding to implement trading credits.  A
diverse stake-holder group has formed a steering committee and
numerous subcommittees to oversee and implement the project.  This
includes the Kazoo Env Council, MDA, Mich Farm Bureau, Mich Ag
Stewardship Assoc,  Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS),
MDEQ, farmers, etc.  Anyone interested in learning more about the
project, or with input & inquiries, feel free to respond back to me.  A good
chunk of the funding will be used to monitor NPS improvements and
asses the effectiveness of the program with about $100,000 going
toward NPS controls.   The basic idea is to develop a model system
where the private sector pays NPS  to reduce stream phos loading so
that increased production can occur at !
 th!
e point source (but with a reduced background loading because the NPS
has already taken phos out).  

Before you faint ---- Key constraints are that 1) NO localized impairment
will be allowed and 2) watershed loading (along the area of concern)
must be reduced with each trade.  Each trade is on (at the very least) a
2 for 1 basis; i.e., for 2 pounds of phos removed by the NPS,  only 1
pound phos to be added by the point source - The result is a net
reduction of phos loading in the river. 

We have had long and ardous discussions within the Kazoo group and
continue to move ahead.  Monitoring is a big part of this effort because
we do not want paper trades.  Assurances and accountability are part
of the planned expenditures.  Like I said, feel free to give a holler my way
and I or the Kazoo project will respond as best we can.  I think we have
thought of most of the problems and some of the answers, but we need
all the help we can get ( that's a collective "we" that includes us all!!!)

Regards,

Chuck Cubbage 

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ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/enviro-mich/

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
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