Nutrient Water Quality Standards for Ohio’s Large Rivers Early Stakeholder Outreach


Good morning hello and welcome to Ohio
EPA’s webinar on nutrient water quality standard for large rivers my name is
Mary McCarran and public involvement manager at Ohio EPA and I’m hosting
today’s webinar with me here in Columbus is Bob Milner and Audrey rush in a
moment will present some data and information pertaining to the nutrient
water quality standards but I’d also like to note that we aren’t recording
this webinar and we’ll post it on Ohio EPA’s website we’ll be using the chat
feature during the webinar if you have any questions please type them into the
chat and we will answer them during the webinar before I turn things over I have
a couple of tips about technical end of today’s webinar you should see a
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questions during the presentation although today’s webinar was stated to
lather slated to last an hour I do anticipate going over an hour with the
questions that we receive and with that I will pass it over to Audrey rush good
morning I’m Audrey Rush manager of the standards and technical support section
at Ohio EPA division of surface water today Bob Miller is presenting data that
were used to inform neutral beautification endpoints for Ohio’s
large rivers implementation and rural language will be evaluated as we move
forward please direct your questions to the technical information presented
early stakeholder outreach ended October 26th and we received comments from 17
entities thank you for taking the time to comment on our on our beautification
endpoints although there is no formal response to comments for IESO we will
consider all comments as we proceed to rulemaking we are working on a rule
framework and we’ll engage stakeholders prior to
drafting proposed rule language with that I’m going to introduce Bob Bob
Milton er has more than 25 years experience with Ohio EPA he is an
ecologist and data analyst he specializes in detecting patterns and
relationships and large data sets using multivariate analysis and machine
learning techniques his work centers on identifying probable causal links
between observed biological condition and measured stressors or environmental
gradients he holds a master’s of Science degree in marine biology from the
University of North Carolina Wilmington Thank You Audrey I suspect that many of
you are listening in word that one of the traveling shows that we did earlier
in the year that we presented some of this and so I just want to assure you
that this isn’t exactly the same presentation it’s been reworked a little
bit so you’re not going to get the exact same thing that you set through maybe a
month or two ago so it was a lot of the information is the same some of its been
reworked just a little bit just just to show some different angles and one of
the things I am going to talk about a little more explicitly is is some of the
science behind the relationships between what between nutrients and enrichment so
with that what is eutrophication so so in a visual context we can see in in
rivers beautification is an aspect of enrichment that when you add nutrients
to the water you tend to facilitate the growth of phytoplankton and attached
algae and a lot of what we’re concerned with and the big rivers is the stuff
growing in the water column so thus astana chlorophyll and so in visual
context you know what we want to have done
Marxist say what what’s a high level of chlorophyll that corresponds to
eutrophication when when when a river is UTRA fied what the benchmark what is
what is that so in in the picture in the upper left-hand corner of your screen is
a picture of one of the blooms from Lake Erie that that had harmful algal it was
a harmful algal bloom and the concentration of chlorophyll that was
measured with that was 165 micrograms per liter we often detect those levels
of Cesana chlorophyll and some of our big rivers notably the Great Miami River
where we’ll routinely see chlorophyll levels above 100 micrograms per liter
and and that’s typically where the level that levels that high even during low
flow and it hasn’t rained for a long time you you literally won’t be able to
see the bottom of the river much much beyond your ankles so it’s it’s it’s a
level that is biologically consequential and aesthetically consequential so we
look at the relationship between phosphorous and chlorophyll one it and
and if we say run a water quality model that says what concentration of
phosphorous do we need to control chlorophyll in a water body be it a
river or a lake that model will come back and tell you that you need a almost
vanishingly small concentration of phosphorous to control that chlorophyll
level in this graph that we’re presenting right now that the dotted
line traces the 90th percentile sort of the surface of it not that 90th
percentile that data form and you can see that once you get beyond about 0.5 6
milligrams per liter of phosphorous the relationship tends to flatten out
and and so this is what we’re these water quality models operate kind of in
this lower left hand corner of the of this distribution and so these data that
I have presented are from you know all the data that we have in our database
Lake Erie inland lakes and rivers and the laker
data points are kind of in the the turquoise blue and the large rivers are
in the green and the inland lakes are in the blue and and it’s pretty clear to
see that a lot of the large River data points tend to be on the right-hand side
corresponding to more than what would be one milligram per liter so that’s on a
log scale but that’s one milligram per liter and I have a value here zero point
one three milligrams per liter penciled in as a reference point because that’s
one of our what we think is a target value for the large rivers and I’ll
explain why why that value is how we got to that as a target value so if we look
at a range of studies collected from
literally around the world they tend to converge on similar numbers and and so
if these you look at you look at studies that link that look at the relationship
between either benthic or cystic algae and phosphorus concentrations you tend
to get a distribution of change like change points or points where they see
some kind of effect and they all sort of center within a within a range of
phosphorus concentrations between about 0.2 milligrams per liter up to about 0.7
maybe 0.8 and if if you do that within vertebrates it’s a little bit higher the
range and then again with the fish it goes up a little bit higher than that
and the this table that I have on the right um shows this is this is described
you condition as described by the algal
community in relation to phosphorus levels and until this this these are
grounded in the in the complexion of the algae community so a look at streams
that generally have concentration vanishingly small concentrations of
phosphorus are considering look at traffic they have characteristic algae
communities and as you go up that the gradient of concentration you get to
this sort of hypertrophic condition and and so this end point that we had 0.1 3
milligrams per liter is is a target that coincides with this these literature
values that we see so we’re thinkin if we you know if we’ve got these measured
hypertrophic conditions one of the first steps is to get you know below that okay
in in we have data we’re not basing this
necessarily on the characteristics of the algal assemblages and I’ll get to
that more there’s there’s other endpoints that we looked at but they
they tend to coincide with these numbers as you will see as we’re going now another aspect there’s phosphorus
and then there’s nitrogen and and so we know that both are important
you require both those are the two primary nutrients that algae require and
and so when we look at nitrogen and our large rivers we we see something of a
curious relationship so in the graph on the left it shows chlorophyll
concentrations Bend by nitrogen dissolved inorganic nitrogen to total
phosphorus ratios and in a so when when we talk about nutrient ratios it’s just
simply a relative measure of the amount of nitrogen relative to the amount of
phosphorus and it doesn’t necessarily talk about the magnitude of those
concentrations it’s just the ratio how how how abundant one is relative to
another but one would expect that if you had a low ratio of nitrogen to
phosphorus that you wouldn’t see necessarily see high chlorophyll
associated with it it’s um somewhat of a counterintuitive outcome but what what’s
happening is that if you know these are the phosphorus concentrations and log
units that are associated with each bin and one of the things you’ll notice is
that they all have a fairly similar range of phosphorus concentrations and
in terms of the is sort of the again if you think of two log units as one as
being 0.1 milligram per liter that’ll give you a friendly an idea of where
these ranges are right so so about 0.1 milligrams per liters is pretty close to
the midpoint of each of these right so similar Angell phosphorus concentrations
pretty pretty significant difference then in nitrogen concentration so what’s
happening is you’re getting uptake of that nitrogen and when we’re seeing
uptake of the nitrogen that’s where we see the highest levels of chlorophyll
and the graph on the right shows that same relationship only this
time in terms of the magnitude of the concentrations and so this is this is
phosphorus concentrations on the x axis nitrogen concentrations on the y axis
and then you could think of the chlorophyll concentrations would be on a
z axis pointing directly out of the away from your monitor so to speak but then
sort of sliced in half at the fiftieth percentile and then these are the
concentrations of phosphorus at that level right so it’s a instead of trying
to show a 3d plot in two dimensions it’s way to show a 3d plot in two dimensions
like this so to speak but you’ll see that the concentrations of chlorophyll
increase is nitrogen decreases but increase as phosphorus increases on
average okay so wanted to point that out that
we’re not ignoring nitrogen nitrogen is an important component to all of this
and we have some understanding of what’s going on in terms of the the
relationship between phosphorus nitrogen and chlorophyll so more on nitrogen okay
so we think about why do we worry about nitrogen well because because one one
thought is that well you know they’re they’re algae that can fix their own
nitrogen so we don’t even know if we should worry about controlling it well
one of the things to think about is the nitrogen fixation is actually a very
costly process non nitrogen fixing bacteria often dominate at low nutrient
ratios where one would expect that nitrogen fixing bacteria would have the
upper hand and when when nitrogen is relatively scarce but that isn’t what we
see in the environment there’s those fixers can still be pretty scarce and
and that is goes back to this nitrogen fixation is a costly matter also algal
toxins are nitrogen rich molecules so the less nitrogen you have in the system
the less likely you are to produce algal toxins and and then another line of
evidence that in nutrient amendment experiments conducted literally over 30
years in various environments in different environmental settings we see
that nmp additions generally have a larger effect than P additions only and
that effect can be either as measured as chlorophyll or as in toxins okay so at
this point if there are any questions what we do like to entertain them we do
have one that has come in and is our the chat is active its Ohio EPA
planning to engage another stakeholder group similar to the nutrient technical
advisory group that was used for the small River rulemaking I can speak to
that we we’re not going to convene what we call the tag but what we plan on
doing is coming up with a framework for role and so once we have a pretty clear
idea of the rule construct then we’ll bring in a working group or early snake
or other stakeholders to help us refine rule language are there any other questions out there we have had some audio technical
difficulties throughout the webinar I just want to reiterate to folks that you
can access the audio online through your computer one way to do it if you weren’t
successful and pressing the floating button is to go to the communicate tab
up at the top and click on the audio broadcast I’ve also put that in the chat
so hopefully you’ll be able to read it there if you’re still having audio
difficulties because you won’t be able to hear me right now any other questions
out there for Bob at this point okay about one more came in is there an
anticipated timeline as to when the framework or port rules might become
available but timeline we’re hoping to propose rules some time within the first
half of 2019 so we’ll likely convene early stakeholder for framework early
2019 okay so now we talked a little bit about the relationship and the science
behind nutrients and then expressions of enrichment due to that in some of the
some of those linkages now we’re going to we’re going to turn to some of the
environmental consequences that we that are associated with you germination and
so this the graph that I’m showing right now is a graph of daily average Astana
chlorophyll values on the x axis and then the 24-hour dissolved oxygen range
that was associated with each of those daily chlorophyll values so this 24-hour
range of Bo it’s it’s considered the the minimum that was recorded in the morning
a relative is subtracted from the maximum that occurred in the daytime so
the we see the maximum dissolved oxygen levels in the daytime when algae or
photosynthesizing and releasing oxygen and we see the minimum dissolved oxygen
in the morning hours following night when when photosynthesis has not been
active but but the rest of that the algae and the microbial community have
been respiring and essentially breathing in the oxygen so you get these daily
fluctuations in oxygen and what what’s obvious very obviously apparent is that
as you get to these high levels of Cesana chlorophyll we begin to see these
very wide swings into in dissolved oxygen daily dissolved oxygen and these
points are color-coded by the month that they were collected in so cooler months
are in the blues and purple hues and then the warmer months are in the warmer
colors the greens and oranges so to speak so clearly this is in the end so
these data were collected from a from one station on the Great Miami River it
was it was the same station basically the probe was put out as part of the
Bolton well field study done by USGS going from I think like April of 99
through October or something like that of 2001 so it’s over a year’s worth of
your year and a half worth of data has been it’s been basically two summers and
so we can see it this particular location a very persistent problem and
this is you know obviously going back you know now almost two decades so one of the things that happens when
we’re altering the the do and photosynthesizing not only not only does
that influence does this photosynthesis influence the dissolved oxygen it also
influences the carbon dioxide because just like we breathe in oxygen and
exhale carbon dioxide you know plants will photosynthesize and emit oxygen but
the microbial community is respiring and sort of exhaling carbon dioxide right so
oxygen goes up carbon dioxide goes down vice-versa and carbon dioxide
concentrations in the water will influence the pH now these data points
are from all from the pH values are all from daytime collections so wherever we
had a match value collected from a water body where we had chlorophyll and pH
collected synaptically these are the pairs of those combinations plotted on
this graph and what we can see basically is that once we get to begin to see
chlorophyll concentrations much above 30 micrograms per liter we start to
influence on average that that daily sort of daytime pH level and in some
cases we’re seeing pH values that are approaching or exceeding a numeric water
quality standard so so that these chlorophyll levels can have pretty
significant impacts on on the observed pH and we know that pH obviously because
we have a water quality standard associated with it can be biologically
consequential and when we look at that relationship so now we’re looking at a
relationship between sensitive macroinvertebrate richness and pH levels
and so this this graph plots basically any observation where we had
pH at a station and associates the sensitive mech the the number of
sensitive macro invertebrates that were observed at that station so right up
front yet this is pseudo replication I’m perfectly aware of that so but the point
of showing this and doing this in this manner is it’s a way of showing sort of
the in a nonparametric way of showing the upper limits of what you can see or
what you can expect in the biological condition relative to pH and so it
becomes very obvious that that once we get much above a pH of 8.5 it represents
something of a cap on biological potential that we can observe okay so now we’re looking at total cal
gel nitrogen in relation to chlorophyll so so total cal gel nitrogen is a
measure of organic nitrogen in the system and organic nitrogen obviously is
something that’s synthesized and so it can be synthesized in sit you so that is
by the algae community that’s growing in the water column or it can also be a
result of stuff that was imported into the water you know say from leaf litter
or or from wastewater treatment plant so there could be a variety of sources of
tkn but it’s clear in looking at this plot that there’s an association that
when you know when we’re seeing again high levels of chlorophyll in the water
column we also see high levels of tkn and although there’s not an established
water quality standard for tkn through repeated measurements of associations
between biology and PK and we know that there’s it has a very significant effect
on biology when we see high levels of PK and we almost never see good biological
condition and we can we can show that empirically
so this graph it it has 32 components it’s basically the same data plotted two
ways overlay so one the gray dots are the what I sort of what I did with the pH concentration graph from a couple
graphs ago and so it’s the it’s that pseudo replication where you have an IV
I score taking it as at a set of site associated with every T KN value that
was taken at that site okay and then in the blue dots what we have are the I VI
scores of that station associated with the station average TK n value and the
point of doing this plot is so so that this looking looking at the blue dots
and the relation the central tendency of that is the non pseudo replicated way of
doing it right that’s sort of the according to Hoyle way that one would go
about looking at that relationship but the advantage of looking at that the
sort of these pseudo replication values and relationship to those average values
is you can begin to look at these these values these sort of outlier values over
here right so this value right here is associated with one of these averages
okay so now visually you can begin to look at and see when our our TK average
TK n values are in this range we may be able to expect to see an occasional high
value that isn’t biologically detrimental its when we see these
average TK n values that are in this range we know those are biologically
consequential so this helps during this graph in this way kind of helps us say
you know when our extreme values consequential when are they not what are
the frequency that we might worry about them and then what’s the at what what
what average condition is something that we need to worry about but the bottom
line is is that you know when we see when that average tkn concentrations
sort of get up above you know around 0.75 milligrams per liter we’re
typically not seeing a attainment of warm water so which would be the our
minimum ibi 44 our large rivers and then another water quality parameter that we
know is biologically consequential biologically consequential is biological
oxygen demand is a parameter that that’s been used going way back you know in is
one of the more traditional water quality parameters so that people are
pretty familiar with it but as we as we drove chlorophyll in the
water column obviously we’re putting organic matter
into that water column and you know those algae can can die in finesse and
exert an oxygen demand and so we can measure that and it becomes a there’s a
it’s a very significant relationship and again once we get above about 30
micrograms per liter one of the things you’ll notice is that once we once we
get past 30 micrograms per liter we rarely see we almost always have
detectable levels or we always in fact have detectable levels of biological
oxygen demand relative to when we’re we have values less than that and we also
can see these levels get really high VOD levels that are in fact approaching what
we used to see in the bad old days before we modernized our wastewater
treatment infrastructure so when we’re seeing BOE levels and ten
milligrams per liter those are the kind of levels that we used to see when we
had well essentially raw or very undertreated sewage going into our
rivers so hopefully that can help kind of put
some of these chlorophyll levels in perspective and again going back to the
fact that that Vig is biologically consequential it tends to in unlike some
some other parameters it tends to have a very linear biology tends to respond
very linear linearly to be OD so it tends to be sort of a you can what you
think of it as a constant drag so to speak it doesn’t have it as opposed to a
threshold effect so the more VOD that you have the more stress you see in the
system now if we simply look up a if we just look at chlorophyll levels in a
biological indicator in this case the fish eye VI you know the relationship
isn’t necessarily very strong but what in the so again we have sort of the
station average approach to it versus the pseudo replication approach and
again it’s just a way of sort of looking at it best possible condition that you can
observe and in terms of chlorophyll levels when we have average
concentration that are above 30 we tend to have biology that under performs
relative to that when we see concentrations less than 30 and and when
you consider all the you know yeah it’s probably not obviously not the
chlorophyll per se that drives the relationship it’s all the other things
that we just talked about the PK and the Bo D the swings and pa pH or the
absolute maybe maximum magnitude of the pH and an end and simply the the swings
in the pH in the Bo that are that are going in in some cases the pH might be
changing almost two orders of magnitude and you know I’m not going to try to
articulate all the biology that goes on behind that but but if you if you just
think very simply about it that the fish and macroinvertebrates exchange gases
through membranes and a lot of that exchange is facilitated or occurs
against pH right pH is pH dependent so when you’re when you’re changing that pH
you’re altering the ability of those organisms you know to exchange ions
across membrane so again you know this isn’t necessarily direct
cause-and-effect it’s it’s a it’s a chain of events that happens but we can
we can look at that and we can begin to say we know that when we’re seeing
chlorophyll levels above you know 30 micrograms per liter we’ve gotten
enriched condition it’s biologically consequential and so then we can we can
maybe start taking action so with that we can break for questions again yep we
have two questions that have come in and feel
free to chat in your questions as we’re answering these two that we’ve gotten
what is the Ohio EPA’s plan regarding the small river nutrient rulemaking
timing and content we’re moving forward with the large River nutrient water
quality standards first and as we move through that we’ll consider bringing up
the smaller nutrient indicators for rulemaking but we have no current
timeline to move that forward right now and will these proposals rules impact
anything in smaller watersheds for example trickle down limit if those
again are sort of implementation and modeling questions that we haven’t fully
vetted with both internal staff or external stakeholders but yes it may in
fact affect the TMDL for some of the contributing watershed does anybody else
have any questions remember you can type them into our chat box no other
questions right now happy okay so moving on we can so we can take canary
Wanda’s came in for this how would it affect the TMDL
well will Bob represent target concentrations for phosphorus for the
large rivers and those aren’t it’s not exactly a water quality criteria but it
is part of the proposed water quality standard and those target concentrations
may inform a TMDL for for that River segment or it might be site-specific
based on all the information that we can collect yeah okay so turning back to our the matter at hand okay so we can take
these these various thresholds and endpoints that we observe in the data
and configure them into something known as a box model and so the box model is a
way of presenting a water quality standard that but it’s been used by
other states so it’s in a way sort of been vetted and one of our concerns is
of state is is you know we have to produce the standard that will pass
muster with US EPA so to speak and their components for that job water quality
standards that you have to have so that’s where the duration and frequency
those are those are components of a standard so we can we can look at
magnitude so magnitude would be the numbers for for the chlorophyll as a pH
bodt KN and and then the duration and frequency components not all this is at least the duration frequency
components those those those are just some placeholders that are put up there
right now they’re not anything that’s written in stone caste and granite
should be taken as gospel for this is exactly what we’re doing how it’s going
to happen more refined and to the point are the numbers that appear for the for
the water quality parameters those those endpoints are what are a parent in the data so we know that
when we see chlorophyll concentrations for example greater than 100 micrograms
per liter that’s an acute that’s an acute
condition when we see do swings greater than 9 that’s a pretty that’s an acute
condition or pH greater than 9 that’s that’s of water quality that’s a
violation or an exceedance of a water quality standard when we see PFD
concentrations greater than 6 milligrams per liter that’s an anomalous lehigh VOD
concentration it’s biologically consequential some similarly with tkn
when we see PK in concentrations greater than 1 milligrams per liter we rarely if
ever see attainment of the biology and whether or not that take whether we
actually see categorical attainment according to the bio criteria or more
often than not we pick it up in terms of some of the sensitive components of the
biology the sensitive macroinvertebrates of a sensitive fish will just simply be
absent so those that those those numbers more or less demarcate that acute
condition maybe you can even think of it as sort of you’re exceeding the free
from I mean your your some pretty egregious levels when were when we’re
talking about those those concentrations so so from there then there’s there’s a
really a pretty wide range of condition especially in terms of chlorophyll from
spanning 30 to about 100 micrograms per liter that that basically characterizes
what we would consider an enriched condition it’s within this range that
you know we do expect some of our rivers to be enriched given the you know the
population that we have 11 million people in Ohio you know it’s a heavily
work landscape we mobilize a lot of nutrients we’re going to expect some
level of enrichment in our and so within those levels we want we
want to you know carefully assess the condition of that water body where is it
positioned that eutrophication gradient are do we see biological impairment
associated with that if not you know our is that are we pretty confident that
that biological attainment is pretty solid or are we talking about a system
that’s really kind of pushed to the edge are we frequently seeing these
chlorophyll levels that are at the high end of that enriched range on an annual
basis art is the biology somewhat suppressed relative to what it should be
those kinds of questions have to be asked within that that realm and that
that goes back to traditional weight of evidence that we’ve always used but
really really tries to put the bio criteria first and in some reading over
some of the early some of the comments that we got in there from our seventeen
entities that reply to our initial request that was one of the concerns
that they didn’t see the bio criterion there but it was it was implicit in this
all along if not you know explicitly made you know this is just part of the
it’s part of the pie it’s baked into the pie so just to kind of take that worry
off the table for those that might have it so summary of findings we have the
empirical observations that we’ve made in looking at our data
they really do align with a lot of other studies we see maximum core chlorophyll
concentrations tend to flatten out after about 6 milligrams per liter total
phosphorous we do see eutrophic threshold of about 30 micrograms per
liter once we see that we’re always seeing detectable levels of BOV and we
know the BLB again is demonstrated is to be thought of as a sort of a constant
stressor and I don’t think nitrogen can be ignored we’re not talking about
specific nitrogen targets at this point or anything like that but it’s something
that we’re going to have to be cognitive of when we evaluate a reach and look at
the develop the TMDLs whether that that’s going to translate
into permit limits or not is beyond our discussion here but certainly it’ll be
it be part of when we’re formulating the TMDL looking at nonpoint components to
it again when we know when the average condition is highly eutrophic we know
the biology suffers hypertrophy is an acute condition that needs to be dealt
with and we think that a TP target a total phosphorous target is 0.1 3
milligrams per liter is sort of an outside mixing zone seasonal average is
is an achievable target for our large rivers and you know we think that that
would be like something we could we could point to for presently over
enriched and impaired waters is an out the gate kind of you know in the absence
of any other site-specific information in terms of phosphorus but that would be
a target to shoot for state look like limit of one on all
majors and significant minors we probably be a long long way to get into
that target and again because of the nature of the these relationships that
we see we should also be thinking about put for presently unenriched waters
their existing condition should more or less be the cap so we know that any
addition of nutrients basically and this would be going you know pertaining to
our waters that are exceptional quistis is exceptional warm water right now that
that they’re fairly easily perturbed so we want we may want to be thinking about
caps in existing condition and so any final questions or thoughts critiques
anything please you know feel free now’s your chance
we do have a question that came in it’s Ohio EPA receptive to comments on the EM
analysis and data being presented today when should we comment and how yes where
if you I think I’d be able to as we say we read recording me the webinar so
you’ll have that at your disposal you can go through and and at your leisure
and make comments questions and I think we’ve also posted the data is on our
website so that’s accessible for for people that want to take a go at it so there’s
various avenues that they can do this as a note that the formal early stakeholder
outreach comment period ended the 26th of October but we would welcome this
course as we move through role you know the rule framework so if you have
questions or comments about the data please email either Robert Milner or
myself and myself and we can work with you directly on any comments you have
about the data another question that we’ve received is
will Ohio EPA consider capping existing conditions for enriched water not over
enriched where there is consistent biological attainment I think Bob Bob
had mentioned that at the end of this presentation that for those waters that
are exceptional or or or attaining high quality that would be a suggestion we
would have as an agency to cap as existing conditions especially as
pressures on the land use increase and some of these smaller communities doing
wastewater treatment expansion I think where our goal is to enhance and restore
the biological or physical condition of the nation’s waters or that’s that’s our
charge under the Clean Water Act those are again implementation and policy
calls that will be developed as we move forward and one other may be a corollary
to that is it we have to look at the anti-degradation tier that that water
body is in and and so the ones that are in that you know outstanding state
waters your superior high quality waters would be the ones where because we you
know we have we have a smaller margin of error so to speak for those waters
that’s both that’s where we would be thinking
potentially about a calf the general ID quality waters might be a different
story and the next question is what Ohio EPA or is though how we say it planning
to make available on our website any of the comments responses or communications
related to a peer review of the report no no okay
yeah those will not be posted to our website pass Ohio ETA decided what the
drainage area cutoff will be for the large river enrichment standard will it
be five hundred square miles or will that maybe change oh it’s going to be
it’s going to be specific to the watershed it’ll be based on the
characteristics of the watershed because some systems can be ethically dominated
at a higher drainage area than other systems so it’s it’s contextual there’s
not going to be our taxing line and how if at all will NPS nutrient
contributions be factored into rule making into rule making it will not
because this is just the it’s a water quality standard for you to fication
endpoint the implementation of those endpoints and contributing factors will
be done through the TMDL process someone has asked as the presentation today will
be on a higher EPA’s website yes we’ll be posting the webinar and recorded so
that will be posted and that will go out to everybody who’s registered and
participated in the webinar so you’ll get a link to that in the next couple
days in question all right why is data from inland lakes and Lake Erie used to
develop the TT chlorophyll relationship that is used for large rivers it’s it
that the relationship between phosphorus and chlorophyll is independent of water
bodies in the sense if you think about it it’s the algae doesn’t care if it’s
living in a River orale so to speak now that said
lakes and rivers have a different dynamic when in terms of the expression
between nutrients and chlorophyll because that the that those nutrients
could be going into a end of the subsonic component or they can be going
into benthic pathways the point of showing both all those data together was
to show that that there is a convergence regardless of the water body and the
fact that once you get above about you know as I said 0.06 milligrams per liter
total phosphorous you tended that relationship tends to flatten out and
that’s that’s kind of independent of water body do you know yet how Ohio EPA
will reach out to early stakeholders for ongoing coordination and discussion in
the future as the rule is being drafted or what are the other points for public
participation during the rule process no we don’t really have a formalized plan
yet we’ll have to have some discussions with senior management on how to proceed previous approach to nutrients indicated
nitrogen would not be considered unless it was a limiting nutrient in the
receiving water does the data presented today indicate the impact to chlorophyll
and toxins materially change this approach and know in terms of in terms
of a permit limit again I you know we’re not we’re not thinking along those lines
because there and that goes beyond well the reason we have we have to we have to
show that in our standard we’re being protective
of the use and to be protective of the use in the sense we need to know we need
to demonstrate that we’re understanding the nitrogen component to the YouTube
ocation and more than likely we’re we’re you know if we do a TMDL we look at it
we know phosphorus is is is typically the underlying driver of what’s going on
it it’s basically when I was showing those graphs with the nitrogen what what
is what it shows is that we have phosphorus at ad libitum concentrations
and so when you throw nitrogen on it it’s like adding fuel to the fire so to
speak but ultimately it still comes back to what are you going to go after you
know if your if your phosphorus concentrations and large rivers are sort
of there at ad libitum concentrations you got to reduce the phosphorous so
that’s going to be the first note of entry in all of this the nitrogen
component comes in is yeah we have to be cognizant of it if we have a lot of
nitrogen in the system where are we going to get it from and you know study
after study after study has repeatedly shown that most of the nitrogen in our
water is coming from non-point sources so that’s probably where when we write
the TMDLs that we’ll be addressing that side of that that component
the next question is pious little phosphorus used rather than BRP because
most of the total phosphorous and large rivers is DRP and do you know or can you
speak to how the farming community will be regulated to reduce their impact and
footprint as well as unities and industry no we can’t speak to that today
okay will the via responds their comments for
the comment that was received so far know under early stakeholder outreach
there is no formal response to comments is most of the data collected from
western Ohio the unglaciated portions of the state the most day there’s been the
data were collected from all over the state but I mean our large rivers
basically Scioto Great Miami Muskingum and mommy so that’s where the bulk of
the data would come from those those systems will you have a fret threshold
for the unglaciated drainages versus the glaciated drainages no not anticipating
that we’re we’re the thresholds are these are what we see across the state since all of the other individual and
general and PDEs permits reference Ohio’s water quality standards and
prevent contributing to an exceedance are you coordinating with permit writers
that Ohio EPA yes that’s the next phase of developing a standard as we move
forward is to is to coordinate with the permitting session I’m starting to reach
the end of our questions so if you have any questions sleep now is the time to
type them into the chat the next question is will the large river
enrichment standard take non point source
nutrient loads into account and if so how will the non point source
contributions be accounted for well the standard is is developed is configured
in a way to tell you to one tell you where a water body is positioned along
and enrichment continuum a eutrophication continuum and then from
there it’s to say okay you know it’s at this position this is it it’s too far
over for what it’s too enriched for what the water body can handle and then it
comes down to what do we do about it and that’s where the TMDL comes in and
that’s in the TMDL is what addresses the mix of point non-point sources that are
influencing that water body and how much of each needs to be reduced so the last
question that we have at this time is hope we just got a new on it so just a
second to last have you considered the toxic effects of Microsystems on fish
no we haven’t that was a part of this study okay and I understand that Ohio
EPA will not be publishing comments responses or communications related to
the peer review of mr. Milton paper on this website but what Ohio EPA would be
willing to make this information available in some way again I think I think I’ll have to run
that question by my senior management so we will get back with you on that one
why not incorporate findings into TMDLs directly instead of into the water
quality standards okay we see that this yeah why not incorporate the findings
into the TMDL directly instead of into the water quality standard i well i and
i almost a chicken in the etiquette kind of thing because i mean the water
quality standard informs the TMDL and you so you have to have something to
have due to a basis for the TMDL so this has to come first we can’t have yeah
NAPLAN map implementation recommended different outcomes depending on whether
point source or point source was driving enrichment is Ohio EPA receptive to
similar concept here well no this is that we’re trying to be independent of
what the source of enrichment is we’re trying to have a standard that says when
a water body is enriched and when is it rich enriched to the point of impairment
and then then what we do about it is I guess you know Falls follows after that
and the large river enrichment is is sometimes can be considered to be more
of a far-field sort of end point and so doing doing tweaks if you will to the
contributions for near-field sources in a sense in a sense don’t make a lot of
sense for for far afield application that is the last question that we have
in the chat box I’ll displayed a couple minutes in case
anybody else wants to type in another question as a reminder if you have
or comments after today you can email them to Bob or Audrey Bob do you want to
give out your email address it’s robert dot milton ur m IL t ner at epa dot o h
io dot govt and honored you want to give your n- the same except it’s Audrey AED
re y dot rush are us H at EPA Ohio Co all right it looks like we’ve exhausted
the questions in the chat function of the webinar thank you everyone for
taking the time to participate in today’s webinar if you owe more that
came in last minute will ETA Ohio EPA perform a cost-benefit analysis for
NPDES permit holders expected to achieve lower total phosphorus discharge
concentrations well part of rulemaking is is is doing
an economic analysis of the whole rule so we will be considering those types of
questions as we move forward with interested party review excellent Thank
You Audrey and again I just want to remind everybody that this has been
recorded so we will be posting this to our website and you will get a link to
that in the next couple of days anybody who’s registered or participated in this
webinar thank you you

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