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The Pioneer Press at the very top of the State of California grants permission for this article to be copied and forwarded.


Pioneer Press, Fort Jones, California, November 1, 2006 Vol. 33, No. 50 Page  A20, column 2


Why the Regional Water Quality Board wants more from the Scott


By Liz Bowen, Pioneer Press Assistant Editor Fort Jones, California


SANTA ROSA, California – The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board is based in Santa Rosa. This Board answers to the State Water Resources Control Board, which is a separate agency than the State Department of Water Resources.

The Water Quality Boards are governed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which was established to facilitate the federal Clean Water Act of 1973.

The Scott River is only the third river in California for a Total Maximum Daily Loads, called TMDL, Plan to begin to be established by the State Water Quality Control Board. The Scott River had previously been declared “impaired” for too much sediment and too warm of temperatures. The TMDL Plan is expected to improve those faults, which is then expected to improve the water quality in the Klamath River that was also declared “impaired,” but has not had a final TMDL Plan established.


What has happened.


The Regional Water Quality Control Board approved the Scott River TMDL Plan on Dec. 7, 2005 at its monthly meeting, which was held in Yreka. The State Water Resources Control Board then approved the Scott Plan on June 21, 2006. It was then approved by the federal EPA on Sept. 8, 2006.

The two California rivers previously approved by the EPA are the Salmon River, a neighbor to Scott River; and the Garcia River above San Francisco.


Ultimately, enforcement actions are expected.


There are now three sets of timelines for developing the Action Plan for the Scott River TMDL Plan.

In the first year, “Siskiyou County will develop a ground water study plan,” according to the Regional Board’s staff. It will:

1. Consider all ground water (not just inside the “interconnected zone”);

2. Evaluate transpiration by riparian vegetation;

3. Identify potential solutions to mitigate adverse impacts to beneficial uses.

By the end of the second year in September 2008, the Plan will:

1. Criteria for when an Erosion Control Plan will be required;

2. Evaluate Caltrans storm water program;

3. MOU with Siskiyou County addressing county roads;

4. Land disturbance ordinance;

5. MOU with USFS and BLM addressing sediment discharges, elevated temperatures and grazing;

6. Criteria for when a grazing management plan will be required.

By the end of three years in September 2009:

1. Regional Board will evaluate the effects of suction dredge mining on sediment and temperature conditions;

2. The executive officer of the Regional Board will report to the Regional Board on the status of the preparation and development of appropriate permitting and enforcement actions.

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