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Re: E-M:/ RE: / Sediment observations

Enviro-Mich message from "Alexander J. Sagady" <ajs@sagady.com>

At 04:53 PM 05/11/2006, you wrote:
>Enviro-Mich message from "Scott Dierks" <SDierks@jfnew.com>
>This feels like unfair bashing of the MDEQ. For starters, the DEQ lists
>impairments, such as poor macroinvertebrate community, fish community or
>habitat that can be sediment-related. They may not always get everything
>right and there are certainly political decisions that sometimes get in
>the way of good science, but I don't think they're ignoring the impacts
>of sediment. 

I'm didn't say that MDEQ is "...ignoring the impacts of 
sediment...."    I've been making a much more serious charge against MDEQ.
What MDEQ is doing is:

1.  Violating Section 303(d)(1)(A) of the Federal Clean Water Act by failing to 
list waters of the United States in the State of Michigan that are impaired
by sediment and turbidity.   For purposes of Section 303 and the implementation of 
water quality based effluent limitation, MDEQ has been continuing for several 
years the Engler-era practice of simply not listing these waters as they are 
required to do.   This failure leads to additional failures to properly plan for 
water quality effluent limitations and attainment of water quality standards relating to 
sediments and turbidity.   

2.  MDEQ has abused its discretion by listing over 3200 miles of Michigan rivers
and streams under Category 4C as impaired but not by a pollutant because
these watercourses have been channelized in the past by a county drain 
commission.   No other Region 5 state has ever proposed this level of 
a regulatory off-ramp for rivers and streams.   In practice these designations
allow county drain commissioners to trash streams with sedimentation from 
their operations with impunity.  For all practical purposes, this abusive 
designation deprives these watercourses of the protection of Michigan's
water quality standards for turbidity, excessive nutrients and pathogens since
such watercourses have a low priority for surveillance.


Lynn Henning, Lenawee County farmer and Sierra Club Michigan Chapter Water Sentinel,
took my urgings to look at local water courses for sediment impairment 
as a result of recent weather patterns and saturated soils in Southern Michigan.

Here are Ms. Hennings pictures from Lenawee and Hillsdale county, plus 
one pic from Ohio where the watershed runs into Michigan.   The 
picture with the culvert and brown water is near the inlet to Lime
Lake in Hillsdale County:

These three pics have evidence of animal waste involvement
in addition to soil erosion from wet weather conditions:

Inlet to Lime Lake:

Runoff from an Ohio field headed to Michigan....note
that the fields doesn't have any crop residue or cover
crop to control soil erosion.

An older pic from earlier this year showing animal waste 
winter applied to a 
field with no cover crop or crop residue directly
upgradient from a tile inlet (and route to Michigan 
surface waters).....Such practices violate EPA
rules but are permitted under so-called "winter risk"
determination procedures that USDA-NRCS
developed since those procedures do not 
sufficiently address the water pollution risks associated
with placement of animal wastes near open tile inlets and risers;
the most recent MDEQ CAFO permit attempts to remedy 
this problem...


Placement of animal wastes in a concentrated field 
flow line....southern Michigan....earlier this year:


Alex J. Sagady & Associates        http://www.sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy, 
Evidence Review and Litigation Investigation on Air, Water and 
Waste/Community Environmental and Resource Protection
Prospectus at:  http://www.sagady.com/sagady.pdf 

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