Klamath TMDL public comment period drawing to a close
The last of five Klamath River Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) public workshops took place in Santa Rosa Thursday. The purpose of the meetings was to provide the public with an overview of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board’s (NCRWQCB) Water Quality Restoration Plan.
According to a release from the NCRWQCB, “The Klamath River is impaired by excessive amounts of nutrients and organic matter, high water temperatures, low dissolved oxygen concentrations, and the blue–green algae toxin microcystin.”
The release states that the impairments are negatively affecting beneficial uses of the river. In a preliminary review draft problem statement, the impaired uses are listed as: cold freshwater habitat; rare, threatened, or endangered species; migration of aquatic organisms; spawning, reproduction, and/or early development; Native American culture; commercial and sportfishing; water contact recreation; non–contact water recreation; and municipal and domestic supply. The preliminary draft is subject to revision and may not include some of the listed items in its final form.
The release states that the purpose of establishing TMDLs “is to establish loading capacities for nutrients, organic matter, and water temperature, and to address factors influencing dissolved oxygen concentrations within the Klamath River while meeting water quality standards.”
An implementation plan will accompany the Klamath TMDLs, according to the release, a plan which will “describe the nature of actions necessary to achieve water quality objectives, a time schedule for the actions to be taken, and monitoring to determine compliance with objectives.”
The TMDL will have to solve the problems causing violations of water quality standards using existing regulatory tools, according to the release.
The public comment period for the Water Quality Restoration Plan will close at 5 p.m. on March 27, the release states. Comments will not receive written responses, but will be included in the final report.
After the Public Review Draft of Klamath
River TMDLs is released in June, submitted
comments will receive written responses, the