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Water: Planning

Definitions/Contacts for FY 2010 National Water Program Guidance Measures- Subobjective: Improve Water Quality on a Watershed Basis

 

Measure Code: SP-10

Measure Language: Number of waterbodies identified in 2002 as not attaining water quality standards where standards are now fully attained. (cumulative)

Type of Measure: Target measure; Cumulatively reported

Measure Contact: Christopher Zabawa, EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds
zabawa.christopher@epa.gov | (202) 566-1222

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases:

  • Waterbody means a water body (or “segment”) as identified in state-submitted section 303(d) lists, section 305(b) reports, and Integrated Reports, for the 2002 reporting cycle. See EPA’s guidance for such reporting under “303(d) Listing of Impaired Waters Guidance” at http://www.epa.gov/owow/tmdl/guidance.html.
  • Attaining water quality standards means that the water body is no longer impaired for any of the causes identified in 2002, as reflected in subsequent state-submitted assessments and EPA-approved 303(d) lists.
  • Impairment refers to an “impairment cause” in state- or EPA-reported data, stored in ATTAINS (Assessment Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Tracking and Implementation System) or its predecessors NTTS (National TMDL Tracking System) or ADB (Assessment Database). Any water body listed as impaired in these data bases must have an impairment cause entered.

Methodology for computation of results:  This measure counts water bodies (segments). Two impairments removed on the same water body (assuming there were no other impairments on that water body) would count as one water body for Measure SP-10. (They would count as two impairments removed, however, under measure SP-11; see definition of SP-11.)

This measure is designed to demonstrate cumulative successes of the surface water program in achieving water quality standards in waters formerly assessed as not meeting water quality standards. It holds constant the fixed base of waters known to be impaired in 2002 and focuses on the cumulative number of those impaired waters that now meet water quality standards. The measure is calculated by comparing the fixed baseline of state- or EPA-listed waters in 2002 to the current list of impaired segments submitted in state reports every two years (next reports are due in 2010). Waters that are meeting water quality standards in the reporting year for the impairments listed in 2002 will be counted toward meeting this measure in that year. If a water body is impaired by multiple causes, it cannot be counted as meeting this measure until all those water quality standards are met, except as noted for mercury.

If a water body in the 2002 universe is subsequently re-segmented, it cannot be counted under SP-10 unless all the new segments meet the requirements for counting.

A water body in the universe may be counted under this measure when it attains water quality standards for all pollutants and impairment causes identified in 2002, as reflected in subsequent state-submitted assessments, EPA-approved 303(d) lists, and Integrated Reports. Pollutants or impairments that are identified subsequently in later assessments and lists are not considered for this measure. EPA will consider adjusting the baseline to a different base year in future Strategic Plans.

Water bodies where mercury is among multiple pollutants causing impairment may be counted toward this target when all pollutants but mercury attain standards. Of waters counted under this measure, EPA will continue to identify and track separately those waters still needing restoration for mercury. For purposes of this measure, “mercury” includes all forms of mercury, including methylmercury.

Waters that are moved off the 303(d) list for the following reasons can be counted toward meeting this measure:

Delisting Reason in ATTAINS

Can Removal of Impairment Cause Be Used in Reporting Under SP-10?

8. Applicable WQS attained; due to restoration activities

YES

9. Applicable WQS attained; due to change in WQS

YES

10. Applicable WQS attained; according to new assessment method.

YES

11. Applicable WQS attained; threatened water no longer threatened.

YES

12. Applicable WQS attained; reason for recovery unspecified.

YES

13. Applicable WQS attained; original basis for listing was incorrect.

YES

14. Data and/or information lacking to determine water quality status; original basis for listing was incorrect.

YES

Note that measure SP-12 uses a different methodology for determining which reasons can be counted. See definition for measure SP-12.

In Integrated Report terminology, to count toward this measure a water body must be placed in Categories 1 or 2 for all the pollutants and impairments that were identified in 2002 as not attaining standards. If any 2002 pollutants and impairments belong in Categories 4 or 5, the water cannot be counted. The water body also cannot be counted if it is moved to Category 3 for the 2002 impairment(s). Impairments first identified after 2002 are not considered in counting waters under this measure. Therefore (and as noted above), this measure may be met and the water body counted even if the water body becomes listed again in a later listing cycle.

EPA’s goal is to use the ATTAINS data system as the system of record for documenting assessment decisions for this measure. Until this happens, reporting for this measure will be based on each Region’s evaluation of state and EPA data from all available sources.

Units: Waterbodies (see above)

Universe: The universe consists of an estimated 39,978 water bodies identified by states or EPA as not meeting water quality standards in 2002. Thus, 2002 is the baseline year for this measure. This universe is sometimes referred to as the “fixed base” or “SP-10 baseline.” The universe includes all waters in categories 5, 4a, 4b, and 4c in 2002. Of these waters, 1,703 are impaired by multiple pollutants including mercury, and 6,501 are impaired by mercury alone (see discussion of mercury in Methodology above). Impairments identified after 2002 are not considered in counting waters under this measure; such impairments may be considered when revising this measure for future updates of the Strategic Plan.

Baseline: The baseline for this measure was zero water bodies in the baseline year of 2002. (See description of universe above.)

Note that this measure is related to former Measure L in the 2003-2008 EPA Strategic Plan: “Percentage of water bodies identified in 2000 as not attaining standards where water quality standards are fully attained (cumulative).” Measure L was reported in FY 2007 and earlier. The primary difference between the two measures is that Measure SP-10 uses a 2002 baseline year rather than the Measure L baseline year of 2000. In addition, SP-10 includes other refinements such as including category 4 waters in the baseline, and using a geo-referenced data system. EPA estimates that 1,980 waters reported under measure L would not count under the new version, and therefore can be added to SP-10 results if a combined total is desired. This combined total is used in calculating the efficiency measure for the PART review of the Water Pollution Control Grants program.

 


 

Measure Code: SP-11

Measure Language: Remove the specific causes of waterbody impairment identified by states in 2002. (cumulative)

Type of Measure: Target measure; Cumulatively reported

Measure Contact: Christopher Zabawa, EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds
zabawa.christopher@epa.gov | (202) 566-1222

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases:

  • Specific cause of waterbody impairment refers to an “impairment cause” in state- or EPA-reported data, stored in ATTAINS (Assessment Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Tracking and Implementation System) or its predecessors NTTS (National TMDL Tracking System) and ADB (Assessment Database). Any water body listed as impaired in these data bases must have an impairment cause entered.
  • Water body listed as impaired means a water body (or “segment”) as identified in state-submitted section 303(d) lists, section 305(b) reports, and Integrated Reports, for the 2002 reporting cycle. See EPA’s guidance for such reporting under “303(d) Listing of Impaired Waters Guidance” at http://www.epa.gov/owow/tmdl/guidance.html.
  • Removal of an impairment cause means that the original specific impairment cause listed by the state or EPA in 2002 is no longer impairing the water body, as reflected in subsequent state-submitted assessments and EPA-approved 303(d) lists.

Methodology for computation of results:This measure counts impairment causes. This measure is closely related to measure SP 10, except that it counts impairments rather than water bodies. Two impairments removed on the same water body would count as two under this measure. See the definition for measure SP-10.

This measure is designed to demonstrate cumulative incremental successes of the surface water program in achieving water quality standards in waters formerly assessed as not meeting water quality standards. It holds constant the fixed base of waters and impairment causes known to be impaired in 2002 and focuses on the cumulative number of those impairments where the water quality now meets water quality standards associated with those impairments. The measure is calculated by comparing the fixed baseline of impairments in state- or EPA-listed waters in 2002 to the current list of impairments submitted in state reports every two years (next reports are due in 2010).

An impairment in the universe may be counted under this measure when water quality associated with that impairment attains water quality standards as reflected in subsequent state-submitted assessments, EPA-approved 303(d) lists, and Integrated Reports. Impairments that were not identified in 2002 but are instead identified subsequently in later assessments and lists are not considered for this measure. EPA will consider adjusting the baseline to a different base year in future Strategic Plans.

If a water body with an impairment in the 2002 universe is subsequently re-segmented, the impairment cannot be counted under SP-11 unless the impairment has been removed throughout the originally-listed water body (i.e., in each of the new segments).

Impairments that are moved off the 303(d) list for the following reasons can be counted towards meeting this measure:

Delisting Reason in ATTAINS

Can Removal of Impairment Cause Be Used in Reporting Under SP-11?

8. Applicable WQS attained; due to restoration activities

YES

9. Applicable WQS attained; due to change in WQS

YES

10. Applicable WQS attained; according to new assessment method.

YES

11. Applicable WQS attained; threatened water no longer threatened.

YES

12. Applicable WQS attained; reason for recovery unspecified.

YES

13. Applicable WQS attained; original basis for listing was incorrect.

YES

14. Data and/or information lacking to determine water quality status; original basis for listing was incorrect.

YES

Note that Measure SP-12 uses a different methodology for determining which reasons can be counted.

EPA’s goal is to use the ATTAINS data system as the system of record for documenting assessment decisions and tracking TMDL information. Until this happens, reporting for this measure will be based on each Region’s evaluation of state and EPA data from all available sources.

Units: Impairment causes for a water body (see above)

Universe: The universe consists of an estimated 69,677 waterbody impairments, as identified by states or EPA in the 2002 reporting cycle. Thus, 2002 is the baseline year for this measure. This universe is sometime referred to as the “fixed base” or “SP-11 baseline.” 

Baseline: The baseline for this measure was zero impairment causes in the baseline year of 2002. (See description of universe above.)

 


 

Measure Code: SP-12

Measure Language: Improve water quality conditions in impaired watersheds nationwide using the watershed approach. (cumulative)

Type of Measure: Target measure; Cumulatively reported

Measure Contacts: Christopher Zabawa, EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds
zabawa.christopher@epa.gov | (202) 566-1222; and

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases:

  • Watershed means (a) a watershed or hydrologic unit at the scale of 12-digit hydrologic unit codes, or HUC-12, as determined by the draft or final Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD), or (b) a regionally defined hydrologic unit of appropriate scale. Option (b) is provided since some waters, such as coastal and estuary waters, fall outside the WBD, and may or may not be hydrologically definable at a scale comparable to inland HUC-12s. Although watersheds or hydrologic units at the 12-digit scale are technically termed “sub-watersheds” by USGS, the Strategic Plan will use the term “watershed” for simplicity.
  • An impaired watershed is a watershed containing one or more impaired water bodies.
  • Impaired water bodies are those identified by states and EPA in the baseline for measure SP-10.
  • Watershed approach is a coordinating process for focusing on priority water resource problems that:
    • Is focused on hydrologically defined areas,
    • Involves key stakeholders,
    • Uses an iterative planning or adaptive management process to address priority water resource goals, and
    • Uses an integrated set of tools and programs.

Functionally, the watershed approach is a problem-solving tool for protecting water quality and aquatic resources. It recognizes that factors affecting the health of our nation’s waters should be understood within their watershed context. It includes assessment of relevant watershed processes and socioeconomic factors, identification of priority issues and most promising corrective actions, involvement by affected parties throughout the process, and implementation at the required scale. See EPA’s website at http://www.epa.gov/owow/watershed/approach.html for more information. Also, see Demonstrating Use of the Watershed Approach below.

The watershed approach can be applied at any appropriate scale, including scales smaller or larger than the HUC-12 watersheds described above. Thus, for this measure, one watershed effort could result in improvements in one or in many HUC-12 watersheds, depending on its scale. For consistency, however, all successes under this measure will be reported as numbers of HUC-12 watersheds.

  • Improved means either that:
    • One or more of the waterbody/impairment causes identified in 2002 are removed, as reflected in EPA-approved state assessments, for at least 40% of the impaired water bodies or impaired stream miles/lake acres in the watershed (see Option 1 below); OR
    • There is significant watershed-wide improvement, as demonstrated by valid scientific information, in one or more water quality parameters or related indicators associated with the impairments (see Options 2a and 2b below).
  • Watersheds of focus are watersheds in which Regions and states will be focusing application of the watershed approach to attain this measure. Regions and states have identified an estimated 4,767 watersheds of focus. Regions and states will maintain lists of the watersheds of focus. The watersheds of focus include watersheds that may be amenable to water quality improvement in the near term (five years), as well as watersheds where improvement may take much longer. In many cases, the time frame cannot be predicted without more information gathered for watershed planning. EPA envisions flexibility in identifying the watersheds of focus over time. EPA and the states may add, change, or remove watersheds they are focusing on as new information becomes available or as resources are reallocated. The measure thus envisions "living" lists of watersheds.

Methodology for computation of results: The methodology for Measure SP-12 is described in the file Guidance for Reporting Watershed Improvement under Measure SP-12 – FY 2009 (PDF). (16 pp., 108 KB, about PDF)

This methodology provides information needed for states and EPA to implement the measure. For a watershed to be counted under SP-12, the state and Region must demonstrate that the watershed approach was applied, and that water quality improved. Either Option 1, Option 2a, or Option 2b described below may be used for demonstrating water quality improvement.

Supporting information must be provided using the appropriate template contained in the above methodology. A separate template is available for each reporting option below (1, 2a, or 2b).

An individual watershed may be counted only once under this measure. That is, a watershed may be counted only when it initially meets the definition. Subsequent actions, such as having additional impairment causes removed or additional water quality parameters showing watershed-wide improvement, would not enable the watershed to be counted again in a subsequent reporting period.  

Under some circumstances, water quality improvements may result in the same watershed being eligible for reporting under both measure SP-12 and measure WQ-10 (nonpoint source waters restored). Consult the detailed definitions for both measures to determine whether a particular watershed is eligible. See additional discussion in the methodology. 

Units: Watersheds at 12-digit HUC scale (see Terms and Phrases above).

Universe: 4,767 watersheds of focus (see Terms and Phrases above).

Baseline: Zero watersheds in 2002.

 

 


 

Measure Code: SP-13

Measure Language: Ensure that the condition of the nation's wadeable streams does not degrade (i.e., there is no statistically significant increase in the percent of streams rated "poor" and no statistically significant decrease in the streams rated "good").

Type of Measure: Indicator measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact: Susan Holdsworth, EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds
holdsworth.susan@epa.gov | (202) 566-1187

Measure Definition

Critiques by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and other independent organizations found that the Nation and the States do not have all the monitoring data to effectively manage their water programs and make scientifically-defensible statements about the condition of waters across the Nation and to track changes over time.  States and EPA are working together to implement national surveys that report on the status and trends of the Nation’s water.  The data from these surveys are key to allowing the Agency to evaluate effectiveness of water quality protection and restoration efforts.  This measure focuses on one water type: wadeable streams.

Terms and phrases:

  • Wadeable streams are small and shallow enough to adequately sample without a boat.
  • Good, Fair, and Poor are defined in the methodology for the wadeable streams survey. (See below.)
  • Does not degrade is defined in the methodology below.

Methodology for computation of results:  Targets and results will be reported nationally with a confidence interval of plus or minus 3.5%, and by EPA Regions at plus or minus 10-15%.

“Good,” “Fair,” or “Poor” are not related to water quality standards. They are determined by national assessment protocols, comparing conditions in sampled streams with conditions in reference streams representing “least disturbed” conditions in the same general ecological area. The methodology for determining whether a stream is in Good, Fair, and Poor condition is summarized in Wadeable Streams Assessment: A Collaborative Survey of the Nation's Streams, published by the EPA Office of Research and Development and Office of Water in December 2006, EPA 841-B-06-002, December 2006, at http://www.epa.gov/owow/streamsurvey/.

“Does not degrade” in this measure means that the following two conditions must be met in comparing results from two different surveys:

  • There is no statistically significant increase in the national proportion of wadeable streams in the category of Poor compared to the earlier results, AND
  • There is no statistically significant decrease in the national proportion of wadeable streams in the category of Good compared to the earlier results.

This means that for measure SP-13 to show success in 2012 compared to the baseline year of 2006 (see baseline below), the 2011 streams survey will need to find not more that 42 percent of stream miles in Poor condition and not less than 28 percent of stream miles in Good condition. 

Units:Percentage of wadeable streams is based on length in miles

Universe: Number of miles of wadeable streams in the lower 48 states is 671,051.

Baseline: The results of this measure will be determined by comparing the results of the 2006 baseline with the next Wadeable Streams Survey to be completed in 2011. Therefore, there will be no reporting until 2012.

The 2006 baseline reflects the results of the Wadeable Streams Assessment, published in December, 2006. It showed:

  • 28 percent of streams in good condition
  • 25 percent in fair condition
  • 42 percent in poor condition
  • 5 percent were not assessed

EPA and its collaborating partners are on a schedule to conduct similar assessments of other types of waterbodies (e.g., lakes, large rivers, and wetlands) in the future, with the goal of producing updated assessments for each type of waterbody every five years. These repeated studies will ensure that the public remains informed as to whether the collective efforts to protect and restore the nation’s waters are meeting with success.

States/EPA will establish baseline conditions for lakes and rivers in 2010 and 2012 respectively; measures for these water types will be included in the next EPA Strategic Plan.

 


 

Measure Code: SP-14

Measure Language: By 2012, improve water quality in Indian country at not fewer than 50 baseline monitoring stations in tribal waters (cumulative) (i.e., show improvement in one or more of seven key parameters: dissolved oxygen, pH, water temperature, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, pathogen indicators, and turbidity).

Type of Measure:  Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact:  Kristen Gunthardt, EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds
gunthardt.kristen@epa.gov | (202) 566-1194

Measure Definition

Terms and Phrases:

  • Seven key parameters means seven parameters identified in EPA’s Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 106 Program Guidance for Tribes: dissolved oxygen, pH, water temperature, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, pathogen indicators, and turbidity. For the purpose of this measure, trends can be reported on these parameters or any appropriate sub-components of these parameters. Reporting on the seven parameters would be in accordance with the degree of maturity of the Tribe’s monitoring program, consistent with the following table derived from the Guidance.*
  • For tribes conducting fundamental monitoring programs:

    1. Dissolved oxygen
    2. pH
    3. Water temperature
    4. Turbidity

    For tribes conducting intermediate monitoring programs: above plus

    1. Phosphorus
    2. Total nitrogen

    * p. 4-11, Guidance on Awards of Grants to Indian Tribes under Section 106 of the Clean Water Act, U.S. EPA Office of Water, April 2006, available at http://www.epa.gov/owm/cwfinance/106tgg07.htm. See also Federal Register Notice, Tribal Grant Guidance, April 26, 2006, 71 FR 24852. The table at p. 4-11 also includes two parameters for mature monitoring programs that are not included among the seven key parameters for this measure – Macroinvertebrates and Basic habitat information.

    For tribes conducting mature monitoring programs: above plus

    1. Pathogen indicators
  • Improved means that (a) at least one of the seven key parameters or parameter sub-components (e.g. total Kjeldahl nitrogen, and orthophosphorus) shows an improvement in quality as described in the guidance below, and (b) there is no evidence of deteriorating trends in related parameters included in reporting for this measure. Further guidance for reporting improvement is provided below.

Methodology for computation of results:  To meet the definition of “improved,” a water body assessment must demonstrate a positive trend/change in at least one of the parameters or parameter subcomponent – dissolved oxygen, pH, water temperature, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, pathogen indicators, or turbidity – over at least two years. The baseline for the trend or change may be derived from monitoring conducted as far back as 1987. Monitoring must be conducted to show that the trend continues into or near the current reporting period, or the improvement is maintained during such period, allowing for averaging intervals and the time to assemble and analyze the data. For example, to be reportable for FY 2009, the trend would need to continue into or be maintained into (or near) FY 2009.

Sampling and analysis must be conducted in accordance with an EPA-approved quality assurance project plan or other appropriately developed Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) (e.g., sampling conducted by a federal agency under their own approved QAPP).

Improvement at a station must be shown using one of the following three processes, as described in path “A”, “B”, or “C" below.

PATH A

Use statistical procedures to demonstrate that significant improvement has occurred with a 90 percent or greater level of confidence. Where data are limited, a level of confidence of 70 percent or greater may be applied. For purposes of this measure, statistical procedures” are those procedures capable of showing statistically significant change in the water quality parameter(s) (e.g. seasonal Kendall trend test, Wilcoxon sign rank). Supporting documentation should describe the environmental significance of any reported changes in water quality.

PATH B

Provide at least two lines of evidence to demonstrate improvement. This approach is suggested in situations where there is not enough consistent data to support the rigorous statistical tests in "A" above. Evidence must include each of the following:

  1. 1. Evidence of an improving trend in one or more of the water quality parameters identified in the measure based on empirical data which may or may not be statistically significant (e.g. descriptive statistics) but nevertheless supports improvement.

    AND

  2. At least one of the following four lines of evidence:
    1. Evidence of an improving trend in a related biological, physical, or chemical indicator/index that is not one of the seven key parameters.
    2. Evidence of an improving trend in water quality based on predictive/ modeled data, with field level ground truthing.
    3. Evidence of relevant load reductions.
    4. Evidence of relevant nonpoint source or point source implementation, or other evidence of watershed implementation actions involving the monitored waters.

PATH C

Report that a waterbody on which the station is located has been restored to attainment with water quality standards associated with one of the seven key parameters. If the Tribe has EPA-approved Tribal water quality standards, these must be used. If not, the Tribe should use one of the following sets of standards: Tribal standards adopted under Tribal law, draft Tribal standards, adjacent state standards, EPA’s national recommended water quality criteria issued under section 304(a), or other scientific benchmarks determined by the Tribe. An assessment methodology documenting how the Tribe determines attainment with the appropriate standard is required under this option.

More than one path may be utilized to evaluate data at a station, but only one may be used for reporting an actual water quality improvement. Different paths may be used for different stations.

For all three paths above, there should be no evidence of deteriorating trends in related parameters included in reporting for this measure (dissolved oxygen, pH, water temperature, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, pathogen indicators, or turbidity).

For all three paths above, where data are available, the analysis should take account of differences in streamflow or other natural events that could produce false “trends.”

Supporting documentation for stations where improvement has occurred includes:

  • The station name/number and waterbody name.
  • Whether method “A”, “B”, or “C” above was used to assess the data, with a brief explanation why.
  • The results of the assessment. The assessment will present the summary data from “A”, “B”, or “C” above demonstrating improved water quality. The assessment must identify the specific parameters used to assess improvements, and must also describe the efforts made to locate and analyze any evidence of deteriorating trends in these or related parameters included in reporting for this measure.
  • A brief narrative on why the water quality is thought to be improving, including what action(s) took place to account for the improvement, if known.

Acceptable documentation of improvements can be provided to the Region in a variety of formats and can be provided by reference where readily accessible information/data exists.

In accordance with EPA’s proposed Section 106 Tribal Grant Guidance, data used in the assessment must be provided to EPA in a format accessible for storage in EPA’s data system. EPA Headquarters is working with Tribes and EPA Regional offices to develop a standard format for data reporting, including metadata. A standard template has been made available through EPA Regional offices as Tribes have begun to implement this reporting requirement. EPA plans to continue to make additional templates available as tools for data submission to EPA evolve.

Tribes must provide EPA a list of stations in the baseline. No further documentation is required, however, for stations where insufficient information exists to assess whether an improvement has occurred, or where no improvement has occurred.

EPA Regions will review the submitted data and assessments, and enter the results in the Agency Commitment System.

The tribal monitoring programs that support this measure were expected to begin functioning under the section 106 Tribal Guidance in FY 2007.

This measure is conceived as a long-term measure, with a goal of showing improvements under the Performance Assessment Rating Tool (PART) by 2012. EPA has not yet determined when tribes will need to begin formal reporting.

EPA intends to further improve this measure, or develop new measures, for succeeding Strategic Plans. These developmental measures will reflect the phasing in of monitoring and assessment work of tribes as they implement the Section 106 Guidance for Tribes. For example, EPA is seeking ways to measure maintenance and protection of current water quality, as well as restoring and improving water quality. EPA welcomes the participation of tribes in these developmental efforts.

Units:  Baseline stations located in Indian country (see below for further descriptions)

Universe and Baseline:  Baseline stations were selected from among stations located in Indian country that are planned for sampling at times during the FY 2006-2012 period. Stations selected were located on waters that have a potential for improvement in one or more of the seven key parameters.

To facilitate the selection, Tribes were asked to provide:

  1. The total number of monitoring stations identified by the Tribe that are planned for sampling (for one or more of the seven key parameters) at times during the FY 2006 – 2012 period. Result: 105 tribes identified 1,661 stations.
  2. Of the monitoring stations in (a), how many will be located on waters that have a potential for improvement in one or more of the seven key parameters. “Potential for improvement” means that water quality is or has been depressed, and some restoration activities are underway or planned to improve water quality for those waters. Result: At least 353 stations were identified with depressed water quality. Of these, 185 were identified as having restoration activities underway.

Of the monitoring stations in (b), EPA identified a national target of 50 stations for reporting actual improved water quality as defined in this guidance by 2012.

The following table summarizes the baseline stations:

Regions

No. of tribes with stations planned

No. stations planned (a)

No. stations with suspected depressed water quality

No. stations with suspected depressed water quality and restoration activities underway (b)

No. stations targeted for improvement by 2012 (c)

Region 1

2

160

Unknown, at least 14

14

4

Region 2

1

14

Unknown

Unknown

0

Region 4

2

37

8 – 9

2

1

Region 5

32

729

118

44

6

Region 6

8

68

35 – 41

1

1

Region 7

7

82

4

4

1

Region 8

19

100

Unknown, at least 10

10

10

Region 9

23

203

Unknown, at least 43

43

15

Region 10

11

268

79

67

15

TOTALS

105

1661

At least 311, not more than 761

185

53



(a) The total number of monitoring stations identified by the Tribe that are planned for sampling (for one or more of the seven key parameters) at times during the FY 2006-2012 period.

(b) Of the monitoring stations in (a), the number that will be located on waters that have a potential for improvement in one or more of the seven key parameters. “Potential for improvement” means that water quality is or has been depressed, and some activities have been, are, or will be underway to improve water quality for those waters.

(c) Of the monitoring stations in (b), the estimated number EPA will show as a Target for reporting actual improved water quality as defined in the measure by 2012.

The following factors affected the development of the data in the above table.

  • Many tribes have not yet finalized a water quality monitoring strategy, or are revising their strategy. Therefore, the number of planned stations may be revised.
  • Some Regions were able to obtain information from all of their Tribes; others were able to focus only on tribes with mature or intermediate water quality monitoring programs.
  • The majority of stations in column (a) will likely not be able to detect improvements in water quality as defined in the measure for several reasons, including:
    • Many stations are located at relatively undisturbed sites, where water quality is not known to be depressed relative to the seven key parameters.
    • Some Tribes have not developed water quality baselines for the stations that could identify problems.
    • Some water quality problems (e.g., mercury contamination) are not addressed by the seven key parameters.
    • Only a limited number of Tribes have implementation funding (319, watershed grants, etc) or other restoration activities underway. Many of those that do are just getting started. As support for restoring additional Tribal waters becomes available, Tribes will be able to address more of the degraded waters.
  • Although many Tribal waters are currently in good shape, development, mining and other anthropogenic impacts are threatening to change this. It is very important for Tribes to be able to continue their efforts to monitor these waters and to access funds to protect high water quality. A few Tribes expressed concern about having waters head in the wrong direction. The work group strongly supports developing a water quality “maintenance” or “prevention” measure or measure component in the future.
  • It is often difficult to predict continuity in Tribal monitoring programs. Although a growing number of Tribes have developed a routine monitoring program, there is often no guarantee of stability in the program due to changes in level of funding, changes in priority activities, or significant turnover in key trained staff.
  • A significant portion of the monitoring conducted by many Tribes is on waters just outside or near reservation boundaries. In some cases this is a matter of identifying sites with convenient access that can best characterize tribal waters. In other cases Tribes are facing discharges or development pressures outside of tribal boundaries that affect or threaten waters upstream from the Tribal area. At least some of the monitoring stations identified in the baseline for this measure are located to monitor those upstream activities. In some cases stations are established to monitor waters on nearby ceded lands.
  • It should be noted that the number of stations does not necessarily represent the number of water bodies monitored. The number of stations needed to characterize a water body may vary greatly.

 


 

Measure Code: SP-15

Measure Language: By 2015, in coordination with other federal agencies, reduce by 50 percent the number of homes on tribal lands lacking access to basic sanitation (cumulative).

Type of Measure: Target measure; Cumulatively reported

Measure Contacts:  

Matthew Richardson, EPA Office of Wastewater Mangement

Richardson.matthew@epa.gov ; (202) 564-2947

Alicia Marrs, EPA Office of Wastewater Management
marrs.alicia@epa.gov | (202) 564-0691

Measure Definition

Terms and Phrases:

Methodology for computing:  The data source for this measure is the Indian Health Service (IHS) Sanitation Deficiency System (SDS) database in the Sanitation, Tracking, and Reporting System (STARS). The IHS information captures a significant percentage of the federal funding for tribal access to basic sanitation, which will allow EPA to more accurately track the overall efforts of the federal government in meeting the tribal basic access to sanitation goal.

Lacking access to basic sanitation is defined for this measure as IHS Initial Deficiency Levels 4 and 5.  For the baseline year of FY 2003, the Indian Health Service data indicated that 8.4 percent of homes on tribal lands lacked access to basic sanitation – that is, 26,777 homes lacking access out of an estimated 319,070 homes. It should be noted that the Indian Health Service database of homes lacking access fluctuates every year given the following variables: new needs, new homes, lifecycle costs, homes where water and wastewater facilities fall out of compliance, new environmental regulations, construction inflation, and population growth.

For FY 2010, the target is 5.95 percent of homes lacking access to basic sanitation (18,985 homes lacking access out of 319,070 total homes on tribal lands).

For 2015, the target is 4.2 percent of homes lacking access to basic sanitation (13,401 homes lacking access out of 319,070 total homes on tribal lands).

This measure is related to the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of reducing by 50 percent the number of homes in Indian Country that lack access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.  By itself, EPA lacks the funding that is necessary to meet this goal.  Therefore, EPA is facilitating an Inter-Agency Tribal Infrastructure Taskforce to develop a coordinated approach to improve access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation in Indian Country.  The Taskforce consists of staff from:

  • EPA’s Office of Water
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – Office of Native American Programs
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Rural Assistance/Rural Utility Service
  • U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) – Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Reclamation
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – Indian Health Service (IHS)

The Taskforce has developed two Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) that are being signed at the Administrator level. The MOUs are intended to help each agency become aware of the universe of federal efforts and to provide all the partner agencies with the ability to examine programs and funding priorities within the broader context of meeting the USG access commitments.  These MOUs will also help to streamline the process for tribes to fund projects from multiple sources, and assist in the development of inter-agency agreements.

Units: Number of homes on tribal lands

Universe: The universe is the estimated total number of homes on tribal lands:319,070 homes (2003 data).

Baseline: The baseline year is 2003 and the Indian Health Service data indicated that 8.4 percent of homes on tribal lands lacked access to basic sanitation – that is, 26,777 homes lacking access out of an estimated 319,070 homes.

 


 

Measure Code: WQ-1a

Measure Language:  Number of states and territories that have adopted EPA approved nutrient criteria into their water quality standards. (cumulative)

Type of Measure: Target measure; Cumulatively reported

Measure Contact:  Gregory Stapleton, EPA Office of Science and Technology
stapleton.gregory@epa.gov | (202) 566-1028

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases: Nutrient criteria – see methodology below

Methodology for computation of results:A state or territory will be counted if it has adopted nutrient criteria into their water quality standards, and if EPA has approved those standards. To qualify, the nutrient criteria must:

  1. Be numeric nutrient standards or numeric translators for narrative standards; and
  2. Address causal (both nitrogen and phosphorus) and response (chlorophyll-a and transparency) variables, or a subset of or alternatives to these parameters if they are shown to be scientifically defensible and protective of designated uses; and
  3. Apply to:
    1. all applicable waters of one or more waterbody types (e.g., lakes/reservoirs or rivers/streams), or
    2. all applicable waters of at least one significant sub-type (e.g., lakes or reservoirs over a certain size), or
    3. all waters of greatest risk of nutrient pollution (such as those identified through the EPA-USGS SPARROW modeling effort) or of greatest consequence (such as drinking water sources) in the state or territory; and
  4. Have been approved by EPA.

Units: Number of states and territories

Universe: 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories of Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands (56 entities)

Baseline: 8 states and territories for the first year reporting under this definition (FY 2007)


 

Measure Code: WQ-1b

Measure Language:  Number of states and territories that are on schedule with a mutually-agreed-upon plan to adopt nutrient criteria into their water quality standards. (annual)

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact:  Gregory Stapleton, EPA Office of Science and Technology
stapleton.gregory@epa.gov | (202) 566-1028

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases:  Mutually-agreed-upon plan (MAUP) is a document that a state or territory provides EPA that describes how they are going to develop and adopt nutrient criteria into their water quality standards.  The MAUP also contains significant milestones that describe the progress the state or territory expects to make by a specific date.  Only plans that EPA has agreed upon are eligible for tracking under this measure.

Methodology for computation of results:A state or territory will be counted if:

  1. It has a plan, mutually-agreed-upon with EPA, to develop nutrient criteria, and
  2. It has met prior year milestones, and
  3. It is meeting the current year milestones in the schedule in its most recent mutually-agreed-upon plan.

This is not a cumulative measure. Each state or territory will be evaluated anew each fiscal year to determine whether it is on schedule compared to that year’s milestones and commitments.

Units: Number of states and territories

Universe: 50 states, the District of Columbia, and territories of Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands (56 entities)

Baseline: 35 states and territories for the first year reporting under this definition (FY 2008)

 


 

Measure Code: WQ-2

Measure Language:  Number of tribes that have water quality standards approved by EPA. (cumulative)

Type of Measure: Target measure; Cumulatively reported

Measure Contact:  Gregory Stapleton, EPA Office of Science and Technology
stapleton.gregory@epa.gov | (202) 566-1028

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases:  Tribe means a federally recognized Indian tribe that meets certain conditions (see methodology below). The water quality standards program refers to a tribe that meets the first condition below as an “authorized tribe.”

Methodology for computation of results:  A tribe will be counted as having EPA-approved water quality standards (WQS) if all three of the following criteria have been met:

  1. The tribe has been authorized to administer its own water quality standards program (i.e., EPA has found it eligible for treatment in the same manner as a state, TAS); and
  2. The tribe has adopted and submitted an initial set of water quality standards to EPA; and,
  3. EPA has approved the initial standards.

Additionally, tribes having EPA-promulgated federal standards will count under this measure.

Units: Number of tribes

Universe:  57 tribes. The universe reflects all federally recognized tribes who have applied to become eligible for “treatment in the same manner as a state” (TAS) to administer the water quality standards program (as of September 2008).

Baseline: 16 tribes (September 2000)

 


 

Measure Code: WQ-3 (a,b)

Measure Language:  

(WQ-3a): Number, and national percent, of states and territories that within the preceding three year period, submitted new or revised water quality criteria acceptable to EPA that reflect new scientific information from EPA or other sources not considered in the previous standards.
(WQ-3b): Number, and national percent, of tribes that within the preceding three year period, submitted new or revised water quality criteria acceptable to EPA that reflect new scientific information from EPA or other sources not considered in the previous standards.

NOTE: WQ-3a is a PART annual output measure for the Water Pollution Control Grants (Section 106) program. WQ-3a and WQ-3b are reported separately in the EPA Annual Commitment System (ACS).

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact:  Gregory Stapleton, EPA Office of Science and Technology
stapleton.gregory@epa.gov | (202) 566-1028

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases:

  • Acceptable to EPA means that EPA has approved the new or revised criteria for that state, territory, or tribe as of September 30, 2010.
  • Three year period means May 1, 2007, through April 30, 2010, to allow at least 5 months for EPA approval.
  • New scientific information from EPA includes, but is not limited to, draft or final water quality criteria documents, and updated information posted on http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/criteria/. It could also include revised criteria implementation guidance, and scientific information provided by EPA Regions or other EPA Offices to assist state, territorial, or tribal adoption of statewide or local criteria.

Methodology for computation of results:Reporting of results for this measure will be generated from the Water Quality Standards (WQS) Actions Tracking Application (WATA) and submitted to the Annual Commitment System after confirmation with Regional WQS Coordinators. Regions will identify in WATA any submissions or submission parts that include one or more new water quality criteria or revised criteria acceptable to EPA that reflect new scientific information not considered in the previous criteria. Adoption and EPA approval of initial tribal standards that include water quality criteria will enable an authorized tribe to be counted under this measure.

The WATA system will be used to identify all submissions received from May 1, 2007, through April 30, 2010 that meet the above criteria and can therefore be reported as meeting the measure.

If a state, territory, or tribe has not adopted any such criteria, the entity can nevertheless be counted under this measure if:

  1. EPA has not issued any new or revised water quality criteria applicable to that entity’s waters, including revisions to the published table of EPA recommended criteria at http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/criteria/wqctable/index.html that would trigger this measure. For toxic pollutants, “applicable to that state’s water” includes pollutants that are reasonably expected to interfere with designated uses; OR
  2. The entity completed a defensible scientific review of the new scientific information EPA has issued and has determined that no changes are needed to their existing water quality criteria. This would be counted for FY 2009 if the associated public review and comment occurred between October 1, 2007, and September 30, 2010; OR
  3. For an authorized tribe, EPA approved the tribe’s initial water quality standards (including water quality criteria) between October 1, 2007, and September 30, 2010.

Note the overlap in time periods: a state that made such a submittal, in, say, July 2009, could get counted in FY 2010, 2011, and 2012. Conversely, a state that last adopted such criteria, say, November 2007, would get counted in FY 2010 but not in FY 2011. Biocriteria that are reflected explicitly in designated uses would count.

Note that the measure allows EPA from 5 to 41 months to approve the criteria, depending on the date of submission during the three-year period specified above.

Units: Number and national percent of states and territories (WQ-3a) or tribes (WQ-3b)

Universe: WQ-3a: 50 states, the District of Columbia, and territories of Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands (56 entities).  WQ-3b: 34 tribes.  This universe is the number of authorized tribes with EPA-approved water quality standards at the end of FY 2008, excluding any tribes whose standards are completely promulgated by EPA (currently only the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation).

Baseline: WQ-3a: For states and territories, the baseline was 39 (66.1%) for the first year reporting under this definition (FY 2007). WQ-3b: For tribes, the baseline was 17 (57%) for the first year reporting under this definition (FY 2007).

 


 

Measure Code: WQ-4 (a,b)

Measure Language:

(WQ-4a): Percentage of submissions of new or revised water quality standards from states and territories that are approved by EPA.
(WQ-4b): Percentage of submissions of new or revised water quality standards from authorized tribes that are approved by EPA.



NOTE: WQ-4a is a PART annual output measure for the Surface Water Protection program.

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact:  Gregory Stapleton, EPA Office of Science and Technology
stapleton.gregory@epa.gov | (202) 566-1028

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases:

  • Submission means a single package of new or revised water quality standards duly transmitted to EPA in accordance with 40 CFR parts 131 or 132. Typically the submission would be the set of documents transmitted by one letter from a state, territorial, or tribal official, including a certification from the Attorney General or equivalent. A submission can include triennial reviews, statewide WQS revisions, use attainability analyses or site-specific criteria for individual waters, general policies, anti-degradation policies or procedures, and variances. In short, anything duly submitted to EPA pursuant to 131.20 that EPA must act review and approve or disapprove.
  • Partial approvals receive fractional credit means that partial approvals count proportionally. The proportion is determined by the number of provisions approved compared to the total number of provisions in a submission. For example, a submission would receive a credit of 0.85 submission if the Region approved 17 of the 20 provisions in the submission. EPA uses a default of 0.50 submission for a partial approval if the number of provisions in a submission cannot be readily estimated.
  • Tribal water quality standards mean standards adopted and submitted by a tribe that EPA has found eligible for “treatment in the same manner as a state” (TAS) to administer a water quality standards program. Where a tribe submitted its initial water quality standards (WQS) with the TAS application, the WQS submission date for WQ-4 is counted as EPA's approval date of the TAS application.

Methodology for computation of results:The purpose of this measure is to provide insight into the “approvability” of state submissions. A disapproval or a “no action” does not count toward meeting this measure.

As described under Universe below, the basis for the percentage calculation is the number of new or revised submissions during May 1, 2009, through April 30, 2010. The percentage approved is calculated as the number of submissions (or fractions thereof) that EPA has approved by September 30, 2010, divided by the universe of submissions for FY 2010. Note that this measure allows from 5 to 17 months for an approval to occur, depending on the date of submission

This measure will be computed using information in the WQS Actions Tracking Application (WATA) system.

Reporting of results for this measure will be generated from WATA and submitted to the Annual Commitment System after confirmation with Regional WQS Coordinators.

Units:Percent of WQS submissions from states and territories (WQ-4a) or tribes (WQ-4b).

Universe: The universe changes annually based on the number of submissions EPA receives from states, territories, and tribes. For FY 2010, the number of new or revised submissions during May 1, 2009, through April 30, 2010, will be the universe. The WATA system will count the number of such submissions or fractions of submissions that EPA approved through September 30, 2010.

Baseline: WQ-4a: For states and territories, the baseline was 85.6% for the first year reporting under this definition (FY 2007). WQ-4b: For tribes, the baseline was 100% for the first year reporting under this definition (FY 2007).

 





Measure Code: WQ-5

Measure Language: Number of States and Territories that have adopted and are implementing their monitoring strategies in keeping with established schedules.

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact:  Joan Warren, EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds
warren.joan@epa.gov | (202) 564-1215

Measure Definition

Critiques by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and other independent organizations found that the Nation and the states do not have all the monitoring data needed to effectively manage their water programs, make scientifically-defensible statements about the condition of waters across the Nation or State, and track changes over time.

A 2002 Association of State and Interstate Pollution Control Administrators’ report on “Water Quality Monitoring Programs” found that ambient water quality monitoring activities are usually the first to be cut when budgets are tight. To address this gap Congress appropriated $18.5 million increase to Clean Water Act (CWA) 106 grants specifically for a Monitoring Initiative, of which $10 million is for implementing state and territorial monitoring strategies and improving monitoring programs.

Terms and phrases: In keeping with established schedules means that States include in their annual Section 106 Monitoring Initiative workplans specific actions that are intended to implement their monitoring strategies and that States demonstrate they are making a good faith effort to do these activities.

Examples of specific activities include:

  • Data system implementation for data sharing and uploading of data and assessments to national systems,
  • Expanding coverage of waters and assessments through application of statistically valid monitoring designs and assessment methodologies,
  • Expand the use and rigor of biological monitoring and the development of improved assessment, stressor identification and reporting tools, and
  • Developing new tools such as predictive technology and remote sensing to refine applications of monitoring data.

Methodology for computation of results: Regional monitoring and 106 coordinators work with states and make their determinations on progress as annual workplans for use of monitoring funds are developed.

Units: State and territorial annual workplans are evaluated against the strategies.

Universe: Total of 56. Fifty states and six territories including the District of Columbia

Baseline:  Funds were first appropriated in FY 2005. 56 states and territories developed monitoring strategies to be implemented over a ten-year period.

 


 

Measure Code: WQ-6 (a,b)

Measure Language:

(WQ-6a); Number of tribes that currently receive funding under Section 106 of the Clean Water Act that have developed and begun implementing monitoring strategies that are appropriate to their water quality program consistent with EPA Guidance.
(WQ-6b): Number of tribes that are providing water quality data in a format accessible for storage in EPA’s data system.

Type of Measure: Target measure; Cumulatively reported

Measure Contact:  Kristen Gunthardt, EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds
gunthardt.kristen@epa.gov | (202) 564-1194

Measure Definition  

In October 2006, EPA issued Final Guidance on Awards of Grants to Indian Tribes under Section 106 of the Clean Water Act that requires tribes to develop monitoring strategies appropriate to their capabilities and needs, and provide reports on water quality to EPA.  The tribal guidance outlines reporting requirements and data expectations for all tribal programs receiving section 106 funds. These requirements will help tribes to collect critical data and information for effective management of their water quality programs. The requirements will also help EPA measure environmental results of the section 106 Tribal Program and comply with the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and other federal requirements.

Terms and phrases:

WQ-6a is a cumulative measure that counts Tribes that have developed, submitted to the Region, and begun implementing water monitoring strategies that are consistent with the EPA 106 Tribal Guidance. Regions should count all Tribes that have submitted and begun implementing (may include planning implementation) strategies, even those that have not yet been accepted by the Region.  These strategies are developed in partnership with Regional staff and deemed appropriate for the level (fundamental, intermediate or advanced) of any particular Tribe as considered by the Regional office.

WQ-6b Is a cumulative measure that counts Tribes that are providing surface water data electronically in a format that is compatible with the STORET/WQX system.  Per the Tribal 106 Guidance, data should be provided for the range of parameters appropriate for the tribe’s level of monitoring.  Tribes may use any of the available methods for submitting data to STORET: 1) using a copy of their local STORET submitted to EPA*, 2) using the Water Quality Exchange (WQX), 3) using EPA's template to submit data via either National WebSIM regionally hosted WebSIM, or the new WQX submission tool, or 4) providing data in the EPA template to their respective EPA Region.

*As of September 2009, local STORET and WebSIM will no longer be supported as ways to submit data to STORET.  Tribes are encouraged to transition to using WQX to submit data or the WQX Web tool.  For more information, please visit http://www.epa.gov/storet.

Methodology for computation of results: Regional monitoring and tribal 106 coordinators work with tribes to make determinations on progress as annual workplans for use of monitoring funds are developed. A standard template has been made available through EPA Regional offices as Tribes have begun to implement this reporting requirement. EPA plans to continue to make additional templates available as tools for data submission to EPA evolve.

Units: Number of tribes

Universe: The 272 tribes eligible to receive Clean Water Act Section 106 funds.  This number could change as new tribes become eligible.

Baseline: The 2005 baseline for WQ-6a is 0 and for WQ-6b is 3.

 


 

Measure Code: WQ-7

Measure Language: Number of States and Territories that provide electronic information using the Assessment Database version 2 or later (or compatible system) and geo-reference the information to facilitate the integrated reporting of assessment data. (cumulative)

Type of Measure: Target measure;Cumulatively reported

Measure Contact:  Joan Warren, EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds
warren.joan@epa.gov | (202) 564-1215

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases: The Assessment Database provides EPA and the states a way to summarize and report to Congress and the public on assessments of water quality that the states and territories must submit every two years under the Clean Water Act.

Methodology for computation of results: This measure counts States and Territories using ADB Version 2 (or compatible electronic format) and providing geo-referencing information on the assessment unit locations for the Integrated Report/305b/303d report that they submit to EPA. Compatible electronic format means having the same data elements/fields as ADB Version 2.

A State or Territory will be counted as meeting this measure if it submits its 2008 IR/303d/305b report using ADB Version 2.0 (or newer). We expect that a State's 2008 IR/303d/305b report could be viewed via the Agency's website with minimal reworking by EPA or our contractor and without lengthy discussions with State staff about the accuracy of their data.

Units: 56 states and territories

Universe: Total of 56. Fifty states and six territories including the District of Columbia

Baseline: 18 states at the end of 2005

 


 

Measure Code: WQ-08 (a,b)

Measure Language:

(WQ-8a): Number, and national percent, of TMDLs that are established or approved by EPA [Total TMDLs] on a schedule consistent with national policy.

(WQ8b): Number, and national percent, of approved TMDLs that are established by States and approved by EPA [State TMDLs] on a schedule consistent with national policy.

Note: A TMDL is a technical plan for reducing pollutants in order to attain water quality standards. The terms ‘approved’ and ‘established’ refer to the completion and approval of the TMDL itself.

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact: Shera Reems, EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds
reems.shera@epa.gov | (202) 566-1264

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases:

  • Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is a technical plan for reducing pollutants in order to attain water quality standards.  The terms ‘approved’ and ‘established’ refer to the completion and approval of the TMDL itself.
  • Pace, Annual pace, Regional pace, Total pace – TMDLs needing to be done in a given fiscal year; a Regional aggregation of state pace figures (see “state pace”, below).
  • State pace – Number of TMDLs needing to be completed in a given state in a given fiscal year (these TMDLs may eventually be developed either by the state and approved by EPA or developed and established by EPA).  State pace is based on state litigation or other schedules or straight-line rates that ensure that national policy is met.  National policy states that TMDLs are typically established and approved within 8-13 years of the water having been listed as impaired per Clean Water Act section 303(d).
  • State-developed (TMDL) pace – Number of state-developed (EPA-approved) TMDLs needing to be completed in a given fiscal year.  Like “state pace” above, state-developed pace is based on state litigation or other schedules or straight-line rates that ensure that the national policy is met, but does not include those TMDLs established by EPA.
  • Target – Number of TMDLs projected to be completed in a given fiscal year. Targets are usually set by Regions in March. EPA policy has been that targets should be 80-100% of the pace.
  • Commitment – Number of TMDLs that states promise to complete in a given fiscal year. Targets for an upcoming fiscal year evolve into draft commitments in July and final commitments in September. EPA policy has been that commitments should be 80-100% of the pace.

Methodology for computation of results:

WQ-8a: Total TMDLs: National policy is to complete TMDLs for impaired waters within 8 to 13 years from their date of initial listing, on average, and to complete all consent decree TMDL commitments. Regions develop and document their annual pace of TMDL completion in line with national policy on a state-by-state basis as follows:

  1. Calculate “Universe” of TMDLs Needed (Table 1, Row C). Use the most current state Integrated Report or 303(d) list to determine the total number of TMDLs that need to be approved or established
  2. The state “universe” number generally should be the number of causes of impairment on impaired waters that need to be addressed in that state. Optional adjustments can be made for the following reasons:

    1. Mercury 5m listings: Mercury listings that have been included in the most recently approved Integrated Report in category 5m, consistent with EPA’s guidance, can be subtracted from the “Universe” total and thereby be excluded from the calculations of TMDL completion pace. http://www.epa.gov/owow/tmdl/mercury5m/Mercury5m.pdf
    2. Cause of impairment to TMDL count translations: In states where it is likely that TMDLs will be developed that address multiple causes of impairment with one pollutant (or vice versa) adjustments can be made to this “Universe” number to better estimate the number of TMDLs that will need to be developed. 

    The sum of the individual state “universe” numbers becomes the Regional "Universe of TMDLs needed" in Row C of Table 1.

  3. Calculate TMDLs Needed this Fiscal Year (FY) to Maintain “Pace” (Table 1, Row A).
  4. State pace is either the straight-line rate needed to meet national policy (TMDL completion, on average, within 8 to 13 years of listing) or the number of TMDLs identified in court orders or consent agreements. The individual state paces are summed to a Regional pace (see Row A of Table 1). Optional adjustments can be made for the following reasons:

  1. Above average percentage of waters assessed: Based on the National Summary of State Information:  Reporting Year 2006 (http://www.epa.gov/waters/ir/), site-specific assessments of 20% of rivers and streams, and 36% of lakes and reservoirs, for an average of 2 designated uses, have been conducted. For reasons such as consent decrees or program investments, a state may have assessed a much larger percentage of its waters than this national average. Assessment results may yield a need for a large number of TMDLs. In limited circumstances, TMDLs needed in that Region may thus be disproportionate in relation to other Regions due to a state’s (or states´) proportion of assessed waters.

    If a state has assessed more than two times the national average of waters assessed (i.e., a state has assessed more than 40% of its rivers for at least 2 designated uses), the state pace may be adjusted by subtracting the national average of waters assessed from the state percentage of waters assessed. An example follows for state "x":

    State "x" pace and universe:

    Universe

    6,500 TMDLs (4,000 rivers & 2,500 lakes)

    Pace

    500

    State % of waters assessed (must be greater than 2x national average)

    50% for rivers

    80% for lakes

    Minus national average % of waters assessed:

    -20% for rivers

    -36% for lakes

    State pace may be reduced by:

    =30% for rivers (1,200 of 4,000 rivers)

    = 44% for lakes (1,100 of 2,500 lakes)

    Overall reduction of 35% (2,300/6,500)*100

    Adjusted state pace:

    325 TMDLs
























  2. Other adjustment factors: In addition to the above factors, it may also be appropriate to adjust annual pace to account for the specific TMDL development schedules set by states that schedule development of more or fewer TMDLs in a particular year. Any single year pace reduction should be compensated for in subsequent years and yield an overall multi-year pace consistent with EPA’s 1997 policy guidance (available at http://www.epa.gov/OWOW/tmdl/ratepace1997guid.pdf, 8 pp, 664 KB).

Proposed changes based on these adjustment factors should be discussed, in advance of calculations, with the HQ contact for this measure and noted briefly in the comment field of the Annual Commitment System (ACS) Database.

(3) Identify Target TMDL Completion Rate for this FY (see Table 1, Row B). Identify the total number of TMDLs in the Region expected to be completed this fiscal year. EPA policy is to maintain an annual pace between 80% and 100% of the necessary pace (identified in the previous step).

(4) End of Fiscal Year Reporting.

Regions must use Assessment and TMDL Tracking And ImplementatioN System (ATTAINS) as the basis to record their approved and established TMDLs. TMDLs should generally be entered no later than 30 days after approval. Additionally, ATTAINS will hold integrated report information and thereby also record Category 4b listings.

At the end of the fiscal year the Region should report the number of TMDLs approved during that fiscal year. “Approved” Category 4b listings on integrated reports will serve to reduce annual pace, as their development and approval are designed to meet water quality standards as a TMDL would.

Optional adjustments can be made for large numbers of cause of impairment restorations:

If the Region’s “universe” or pace (Rows C and A, respectively) has changed substantially in a given year due to restoration of waters or removal of causes of impairment previously determined to need a TMDL, the Region may decide to make adjustments at the end of the year. This adjustment is intended for Regions that, due to integrated reporting activities during the fiscal year, have an overall net reduction in their Regional TMDLs needed and “universe.” Please be sure to communicate any proposed adjustments, in advance, with the HQ contact for this measure.

Adjustments can be made if reductions in needed TMDLs result from removal of causes of impairment (reported under Strategic Target SP-11). These causes of impairment may be deducted from the Region’s annual pace (the denominator by which the annual commitment is divided to calculate the % of pace). Deductions from pace based on changes in listings can only account for up to 40% of the annual pace. If the deductions exceed this percentage then adjustments are taken from the universe of TMDLs needed and the proportional annual reduction applied to annual pace. Two examples follow.

Region “Y” has a universe of 2990 TMDLs, a Regional pace of 230 TMDLs to complete in a given year, with a commitment of 207 TMDLs (90% of pace). At the end of the year 180 TMDLs are completed. However, 30 causes of impairment were reported under strategic target SP-11 as removed and 10 causes of impairment are in Category 4b. Below is a demonstration of how the pace can be adjusted accordingly:

Original Regional “Universe”

2990

Original Regional Pace

230

Annual Commitment

207 (90% of original pace)

When adjustment is less than 20-40% of annual pace

Adjusted Regional Pace

230-30-10 = 190

Reported End of year

180

% of pace

95%

Region “Z” has a universe of 2990 TMDLs, a Regional pace of 230 TMDLs to complete in a given year, with a commitment of 207 TMDLs (90% of pace). At the end of the year 180 TMDLs are completed. However, 500 causes of impairment were reported under strategic target SP-11 as removed and 10 causes of impairment are in Category 4b. Below is a demonstration of how the pace can be adjusted accordingly:

Original Regional “Universe”

2990

Original Regional Pace

230

Annual Commitment

207 (90% of original pace)

When adjustment is more than 20-40% of annual pace

Adjusted Regional Universe

2990-500-10 = 2480

Adjusted Regional Pace

230 * 2480 / 2990 = 191

Reported End of year

180

% of pace

94%

Table 1: How to Calculate WQ-8(a)

R1

R2

R3

R4

R5

R6

R7

R8

R9

R10

TOTAL

A.

2010 Total Pace: Number of TMDLs (both state-developed and EPA-established) to be completed in FY10 on schedule consistent with national policy [EXAMPLE]

330

149

964

400

300

141

149

253

200

396

3,282

(81%)

B.

2010 Target: Number of TMDLs projected to be completed in FY10 [EXAMPLE]

200

115

584

360

325

113

149

253

180

375

2,654

C.

Universe of TMDLs needed [EXAMPLE]

3,354

2,288

12,248

6,528

9,913

3,015

1,704

2,733

2,391

1,700

46,054



1HQ calculates the national percent of pace by comparing the number of projected TMDLs to pace (i.e., total of Row B divided by total of Row A).

WQ-8(b): State TMDLs:This portion of the measure is calculated using the same methodology as indicated above, but considers only state-developed (and EPA approved) TMDLs (WQ-13(b) state-developed pace is determined by subtracting the number of EPA-established TMDLs from the total pace.

For example, if Region 1 reported that zero of its TMDLs would be EPA Established, Region 1 state-developed TMDL target would still be 200. If Region 2 reported that 5 of its TMDLs would be EPA Established, Region 2 state-developed TMDL target would be 110.

Units:Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)

Universe: All TMDLs needed to address causes of impairment according to the most current state 303(d) list.

Baseline: The number of TMDLs needed to address outstanding causes of impairment changes with each 303(d) list cycle; therefore, a baseline as such is not appropriate for these measures.  

 


 

Measure Code: WQ-9 (a,b,c)

Measure Language:

(WQ-9a): Estimated annual reduction in million pounds of nitrogen from nonpoint sources to waterbodies (Section 319 funded projects only).
(WQ-9b): Estimated annual reduction in million pounds of phosphorus from nonpoint sources to waterbodies (Section 319 funded projects only).
(WQ-9c): Estimated annual reduction in tons of sediment from nonpoint sources to waterbodies (Section 319 funded projects only).

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact:  

Dov Weitman, EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds
weitman.dov@epa.gov | (202) 566-1207

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases: Nonpoint sourcesare diffuse pollution sources (i.e. without a single point of origin or not introduced into a receiving stream from a specific outlet). The pollutants are generally carried off the land by storm water. Common non-point sources are agriculture, forestry, urban, mining, construction, dams, channels, land disposal, saltwater intrusion, and city streets.

Methodology for computation of results: EPA collects this information in its Grants Reporting and Tracking System (GRTS) for Section 319-funded on-the-ground implementation projects where one or more of these three pollutants are addressed by the project. States are not strictly required to enter this information into GRTS until after one full year of project implementation; although they may enter data prior to the one-year period if they so choose. Therefore, load reduction data entered into GRTS in a particular year usually reflect the results of a project that was implemented during a previous grant year.  Results are reported in GRTS by mid-February for the past 12 months.  The numbers represent new load reduction estimates that were achieved by any active non-point source (NPS) project that implemented new best management practices (BMPs) that year.  Load reductions for each new BMP are only counted in the year it occurred and refer to estimated loads reduced at the BMP.  Load estimates may be calculated using EPA-supported STEPL or Region 5 models, or any other model which can sufficiently estimate load reductions.  EPA Headquarters provides one national number based on state data entry in GRTS. No Regional breakdown of load reductions is provided.

Units: Millions of pounds of nitrogen (WQ-9a) and phosphorus (WQ-9b) and tons of sediment (WQ-9c)

Universe: n/a

Baseline: WQ-9a: 3.7 million pounds; WQ-9b: 558,000 pounds; and WQ-9c: 1.68 million tons

 


 

Measure Code: WQ-10

Measure Language: Number of waterbodies identified by States (in 2000 or subsequent years) as being primarily nonpoint source (NPS)-impaired that are partially or fully restored. (cumulative)

Type of Measure:Target measure; Cumulatively reported

Measure Contact: Dov Weitman, EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds
weitman.dov@epa.gov | (202) 566-1207

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases: By fully restored, EPA means that all designated uses are now being met. By "partially restored," EPA means either of the following two conditions are being met:

  1. A waterbody that has a use that is initially impaired by more than one pollutant, but after restoration efforts meets the criteria for one or more (but not all) of those pollutants, or
  2. A waterbody that initially has more than one use that is less than fully supported, but after restoration efforts one or more (but not all) of those uses becomes fully supported.

Methodology for computation of results: Since the main referent for this measure will be State 303(d) or Integrated Reports, States which did not submit 2000 303(d) lists may substitute the 1998 list for their base year. "Waterbodies" therefore refer to 303(d)-listed segments or category 4 or 5 waters on the Integrated Report. The measure is meant to include not only waterbodies restored by 319-funded projects, but instead counts all primarily NPS-impaired waterbodies that a state fully or partially restores, regardless of funding source. Although restoration efforts may have begun prior to the 1998/2000 base year, the waterbody must have been impaired as of the year 1998/2000.

Waters listed after 1998/2000 which are then de-listed from the 303(d) list (for some or all pollutants) or which move from categories 4 (which includes waters impaired by "pollution") or 5 to category 1 or 2 may also be counted against this measure. In other words, although 1998/2000 is the base year, the 303(d) lists for those years need not be the only referent lists. 

On an ad hoc basis, EPA may approve counting a waterbody against this measure that has been partially or fully restored, but not yet removed from the 303(d) list. This will only occur if the water has actually been restored; EPA will not count cases where the State merely believes the water will be restored by the time of their next 303(d) listing. 

Please note that a waterbody cannot be counted simply because it has been de-listed from a state 303(d) list, or moves from categories 4 or 5 to 1 or 2, for reasons other than actual restoration (e.g., it is determined that it was inappropriately listed in the first place, it has a TMDL done for it, etc.). 

There may be times when a waterbody does not actually change categories, but a use has been restored. Take the following situation: a waterbody is listed under both categories 2 and 5 in one reporting year, and then under these same categories the next reporting year, even though one of the water’s uses has gone from not supported to fully supported. For example, if a waterbody has three uses, and in the first reporting year has one use fully supported and two uses not supported, it might be listed under both categories 2 and 5. If in the next reporting year, one of the two uses that was previously not supported becomes fully supported, then the waterbody would still be listed under categories 2 and 5 - but a use will have been restored (i.e. the bar for "partially restored" will have been met). If a use has actually been restored, then this waterbody may be counted against this measure, regardless of whether or not the categorization of the waterbody stays static. 

In addition, a waterbody will not be counted towards this measure if no specific management activities have been taken (by any party) within the watershed to improve water quality. Furthermore, a waterbody cannot be counted twice under this measure if it goes from impaired to partially restored, and then from partially restored to fully restored. Any given waterbody may only be counted once under this measure. For a waterbody to be counted as "partially or fully restored," it must be described by a story on EPA's NPS Success Story Website (http://www.epa.gov/owow/nps/Success319/). On the Success Stories web site, the heading "Stories about partially or fully restored water bodies" is the section that refers to this measure. Without such a story, the water will not be counted against this measure. 

Success stories submitted for States or Tribes should be 2 pages or less and include the following:

  • Title
  • Problem
  • Results (monitoring data or a narrative description of improvements, consistent with state 303(d) listing and delisting methodologies)
  • Partners and funding
  • Photos and/or Table/graph/chart showing water quality data (where applicable and available)
  • GRTS project number(s) (where applicable)
  • Year waterbody listed or de-listed (or proposed to be de-listed) from 303(d) list
  • Contact information

For detailed information in developing Success Stories, refer to the following document:  http://www.epa.gov/owow/nps/Success319/pdf/storyformat0607.pdf

A story may include more than one waterbody, where appropriate.  

As for determining whether or not a waterbody is "primarily" NPS-impaired, this will be left to the best professional judgment of the States. EPA does not expect that the State should do a detailed analysis when making a judgment on whether a given waterbody is "primarily" NPS-impaired, when a precise determination would be exceedingly difficult (such as, for example, when a single listed water moves through both permitted MS4 areas as well as through non-permitted areas).

SP-12 measure connection: 

Under some circumstances, a WQ-10 waterbody may be included within a 12 digit watershed for reporting under SP-12 (watershed improvement).  Consult the detailed definitions for both measures to determine whether a particular waterbody is eligible under both measures.

Units:The PART target of 700 waterbodies by 2012 refer to partially and fully restored waterbodies combined. 

Universe: There is no universe of NPS-impaired waterbodies for this measure.  Although the base year began with the 2000 303(d) list or Integrated Report, the universe of NPS-impaired waterbody segments shifts with each new 303(d) list or Integrated Report, since this measure allows inclusion of listed segments beyond the 2000 impairment lists. 

Baseline: 14 -The base year in which the first 11 Success Stories were posted to the website was in 2005.

 


 

Measure Code: WQ-11

Measure Language: Number, and national percent, of follow-up actions that are completed by assessed NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) programs. (cumulative)

Type of Measure:  Indicator measure; Cumulatively reported

Measure Contact:  Kathryn Riedlinger, EPA Office of Wastewater Management
riedlinger.kathryn@epa.gov | (202) 564-7004

Measure Definition

Assessed NPDES programs include 45 authorized states, 5 unauthorized states (MA, NH, NM, AK*, ID), 1 authorized territory (VI), 3 unauthorized territories (DC, PR, Pacific Island Territories), and 10 Regions (total of 64 programs) assessed through the Permits for Environmental Results (PER) program.

Terms and phrases:  

  • Follow-up actions - Otherwise referred to by EPA as “action items.”  EPA headquarters tracks the status and completion dates of all action items in a separate database.  EPA headquarters coordinates with Regions at mid-year and end-of-year to update status and provides the Region’s Annual Commitment System (ACS) contact with the number of cumulative completed action items since 2004.  The Regions are responsible for putting this number into ACS.
  • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) - A provision of the Clean Water Act which prohibits discharge of pollutants into waters of the United States unless a special permit is issued by EPA, a state, or, where delegated, a tribal government on an Indian reservation.

Methodology for computation of results: The results are calculated by adding the total number of new action items completed by the end of the fiscal year to the cumulative number of action items completed to date.

Units: Number of action items completed

Universe: Universe of 321 includes all follow-up actions for which a schedule has been established to date. The universe increases as additional action items are identified by the Regions and through Headquarters program review. An updated universe will be available in March 2009.

Baseline: 54 (2005) – The 2005 baseline represents the number of action items that were completed at that time. 

* AK was authorized to manage the NPDES program on October 31, 2008.

 


 

Measure Code: WQ-12 (a,b)

Measure Language:

(WQ-12a): Percent of non-tribal facilities covered by NPDES permits that are considered current.
(WQ-12b): Percent of tribal facilities covered by NPDES permits that are considered current

Type of Measure:  Target measure; Cumulatively reported

Measure Contact:  Kathryn Riedlinger, EPA Office of Wastewater Management
riedlinger.kathryn@epa.gov | (202) 564-7004

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases: National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) - A provision of the Clean Water Act which prohibits discharge of pollutants into waters of the United States unless a special permit is issued by EPA, a state, or, where delegated, a tribal government on an Indian reservation.

The Clean Water Act specifies that NPDES permits may not be issued for longer than five year terms. Permittees that wish to continue discharging beyond the five-year term must submit an application for permit renewal. If the permitting authority receives a complete application, but does not reissue the permit prior to the expiration date, the existing permit is generally “administratively continued.” A “backlogged” permit is an active permit that has been expired for more than 180 days (including those administratively continued permits) or an application for a new permit that has not yet been issued 365 days after receipt of the application, where information is available. A permit is considered current if it has not reached its expiration date or has not been expired more than 180 days.

Methodology for computation of results: Results are determined by calculating the percent of facilities that are covered by permits considered current (i.e., not “backlogged”) out of the universe of facilities covered by NPDES individual and non-stormwater general permits.

Units: Number of facilities

Universe: WQ-12a: 114,898; WQ-12b: 394 (FY 2009). The universe represents the number of facilities covered under non-stormwater individual or general NPDES permits at the beginning of FY2009. 

Baseline: WQ-12a: 88%; WQ-12b: 80% (2005). The 2005 baseline represents the national percent of facilities covered under non-stormwater individual or general NPDES permits that were considered current at that time.

 


 

Measure Code: WQ-13 (a,b,c,d)

Measure Language:

(WQ-13a): Number, and national percent, of MS-4s covered under either an individual or general permit.
(WQ-13b): Number of facilities covered under either an individual or general industrial storm water permit.
(WQ-13c): Number of sites covered under either an individual or general construction storm water site permit.
(WQ-13d): Number of facilities covered under either an individual or general CAFO permit.

Type of Measure:  Indicator measure; Cumulatively reported

Measure Contact:  Kathryn Riedlinger, EPA Office of Wastewater Management
riedlinger.kathryn@epa.gov | (202) 564-7004

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases:

  • An MS-4 is a conveyance or system of conveyances that is: owned by a state, city, town, village, or other public entity that discharges to waters of the U.S.; designed or used to collect or convey stormwater (including storm drains, pipes, ditches, etc.); not a combined sewer; and not part of a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (sewage treatment plant).
  • Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) are point sources, as defined by the CWA [Section 502(14)]. To be considered a CAFO, a facility must first be defined as an Animal Feeding Operation (AFO).AFOs are agricultural operations where animals are kept and raised in confined situations. AFOs generally congregate animals, feed, manure, dead animals, and production operations on a small land area. Feed is brought to the animals rather than the animals grazing or otherwise seeking feed in pastures. Animal waste and wastewater can enter water bodies from spills or breaks of waste storage structures (due to accidents or excessive rain), and non-agricultural application of manure to crop land
  • “Existing current permit” is a permit that has not yet reached its expiration date (or has been expired for less than six months as of the close of the reporting period). 

Methodology for computation of results: For measure (a), report the actual number of MS4s covered under an existing current MS4 permit and the percent of MS4s required to be covered under an MS4 permit that are actually covered under an existing current MS4 permit. For measure (b) report the number of dischargers covered under an industrial stormwater permit, and (c), report the number of construction site operators obtaining coverage under a construction stormwater permits. For measure (d) (CAFOs) report all CAFOs covered by an NPDES permit.

  • WQ-13a: The number of MS4s of all sizes covered under an existing current MS4 individual or general permit at the close of the reporting period.  Each co-permittee should be counted individually.  The percent of MS4s covered should not include all those MS4s operating under an expired (more than six months) individual or general permit plus any known MS4s that are required to obtain permit coverage but have not yet done so.
  • WQ-13b: The number of facilities covered under an existing current industrial stormwater permit at the close of the reporting period.
  • WQ-13c: The number of construction operators obtaining authorization to be covered under an existing current construction stormwater general permit during the reporting period.
  • WQ-13d: The number of facilities covered under an existing current CAFO permit at the close of the reporting period.

Units: Number of facilities

Universe: n/a – The results of this measure are used to develop the universe of facilities covered under either stormwater or CAFO NPDES permits

Baseline: WQ-13a: 6,632; WQ-13b: 86,826; WQ-13c: 242,801; WQ-13d: 8,729 (2007). The 2007 baseline represents the known number of facilities covered under either stormwater or CAFO NPDES permits at that time.

 


 

Measure Code: WQ-14 (a,b)

Measure Language:

(WQ-14a): Number, and national percent, of Significant Industrial Users (SIUs) that are discharging to POTWs with Pretreatment Programs that have control mechanisms in place that implement applicable pretreatment standards and requirements.
(WQ-14b): Number, and national percent, of Categorical Industrial Users (CIUs) that are discharging to POTWs without Pretreatment Programs that have control mechanisms in place that implement applicable pretreatment standards and requirements.

Type of Measure: WQ-14a – Target measure; WQ-14b - Indicator measure; Cumulatively reported (both)

Measure Contact:  Kathryn Riedlinger, EPA Office of Wastewater Management
riedlinger.kathryn@epa.gov | (202) 564-7004

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases:

  • Categorical Industrial Users (CIUs) - An industrial user subject to National Categorical Pretreatment Standards.
  • Control Mechanisms - Permit, order, or similar means to regulate the contribution to the POTW by each Industrial User and to ensure compliance with applicable Pretreatment Standards and requirements.
  • POTWs with Pretreatment Programs - 40 CFR 403.8(a).  Certain POTWs receiving from Industrial Users pollutants which pass through or interfere with the operation of the POTW or are otherwise subject to Pretreatment Standards are  required to establish  POTW Pretreatment Programs to address their issues.
  • POTWs without Pretreatment Programs - Any POTW not required to develop a pretreatment program.
  • Pretreatment Requirements - 40 CFR 403.3(t).  Any substantive or procedural requirement related to Pretreatment, other than a National Pretreatment Standard, imposed on an Industrial User.
  • Pretreatment Standards - 40 CFR 403.3(l).  Any regulation containing pollutant discharge limits promulgated by EPA in accordance with section 307 (b) and (c) of the Act, which applies to Industrial Users. This term includes prohibitive discharge limits established pursuant to § 403.5.
  • Significant Industrial Users (SIUs) - 40 CFR 403.3(v)(1)(i)&(ii).  All Industrial Users subject to Categorical Pretreatment Standards under 40 CFR 403.6 and 40 CFR chapter I, subchapter N; and any other industrial user that: discharges an average of 25,000 gallons per day or more of process wastewater to the POTW (excluding sanitary, noncontact cooling and boiler blowdown wastewater); contributes a process wastestream which makes up 5 percent or more of the average dry weather hydraulic or organic capacity of the POTW treatment plant; or is designated as such by the Control Authority on the basis that the industrial user has a reasonable potential for adversely affecting the POTW's operation or for violating any Pretreatment Standard or requirement (in accordance with 40 CFR 403.8(f )(6)).

Methodology for computation of results:

For WQ-14a, the Region reports the number of SIUs that are discharging to POTWs with pretreatment programs that have control mechanisms in place in the main data field of the EPA Annual Commitment System (ACS). In the comments section of ACS, the Regions should also report the universe of SIUs and the percent of SIUs that are discharging to POTWs with pretreatment programs that have control mechanisms in place. The results are calculated by dividing the number of SIUs that have control mechanisms by the universe of SIUs to determine the percent of SIUs that are discharging to POTWs with pretreatment programs that have control mechanisms in place. For targets and commitments, States and Regions will commit to both a number and a percentage, but will be held to the percentage commitment.

For WQ-14b, the Region reports the number of CIUs that are discharging to POTWs without Pretreatment Programs and have control mechanisms in place. In the comments section of ACS, the Regions should also report the universe of CIUs discharging to POTWs without Pretreatment Programs and the percent of CIUs that are discharging to POTWs without Pretreatment Programs that have control mechanisms in place. The results are calculated by dividing the number of CIUs that have control mechanisms by the universe of CIUs to determine the percent of CIUs that are discharging to POTWs without pretreatment programs that have control mechanisms in place

Where EPA is the Approval Authority and the state does not have CIU permitting authority, a control mechanism may consist of notification to CIUs of reporting requirements and tracking by EPA.

Units: Number of facilities

Universe: WQ-14a: 22,335; WQ-14b: 1,650 (FY 2009). The universe represents the total number of SIUs and CIUs at the beginning on FY2009.

Baseline: WQ-14a: 22,226 (98%); WQ-14b: 1,015 (91%) (2005). The 2005 baseline represents the number and percentage of SIUs and CIUs with control mechanisms in place at that time.

 


 

Measure Code: WQ-15 (a,b)

Measure Language:

(WQ-15a): Percent of major dischargers in Significant Noncompliance (SNC) at any time during the fiscal year.
(WQ-15b): Percent of major dischargers in Significant Noncompliance (SNC) at any time during the fiscal year and of those, the number, and national percent, discharging pollutant(s) of concern on impaired waters.

Type of Measure: WQ-15a – Target Measure; WQ-15b - Indicator Measure; Annually reported (both)

Measure Contact:  Kathryn Riedlinger, EPA Office of Wastewater Management
riedlinger.kathryn@epa.gov | (202) 564-7004

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases:  Major NPDES permitted facilities are designated as being in Significant Noncompliance (SNC) when: reported effluent exceedances are 20% or more above permitted levels for toxic pollutants and/or 40% or more above permitted levels of conventional pollutants; on-site inspections determine non-effluent limit violations such as unauthorized bypasses, unpermitted discharges, and pass-through of pollutants which cause water quality or health problems; permit schedule violations; non-submission or late submission of permittee self-reported Discharge Monitoring Reports; and violation of a state or federal enforcement order.

Methodology for computation of results: For WQ-15a and WQ-15b: Regions and/or States enter DMR data into the PCS/ICIS-NPDES; EPA Headquarters retrieves the data and performs the calculation for this measure. Headquarters will then send region-by-region results to Regional planning contacts to enter into the EPA Annual Commitment System (ACS).

The goal for this measure is to maintain or improve the baseline of 22.5% of major dischargers in Significant Noncompliance.

The SNC rates are calculated on a three year rolling average. The rolling average method provides good data on overall long-term trends. Efforts are made to determine which majors in SNC for pollutants of concern discharge to impaired waters through the use of the “Ask Waters” database.

Units: Number of Dischargers

Universe: WQ-15a: 6,643; WQ-15b: n/a (FY 2009). The universe consists of all major NPDES permitted facilities. The data is pulled from PCS and ICIS databases. While the numbers tend to vary from year to year, the universe has generally remained in the range of 6,650 in recent years.

Baseline: WQ-15a: 1,308 (19.7%); WQ-15b: n/a (FY 2005). The SNC numbers are the number of those majors that have been in SNC for one or more quarters within the particular fiscal year. A major in SNC for one quarter or four quarters during the particular fiscal year is counted once in the measure. The baseline reflects the number of major facilities in SNC based on this definition in FY 2005.


 

Measure Code: WQ-16

Measure Language:  Number, and national percent, of all major publicly-owned treatment works (POTWs) that comply with their permitted wastewater discharge standards (i.e., POTWs that are not in significant non-compliance)

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact: George Ames, EPA Office of Wastewater Management
ames.george@epa.gov | (202) 564-0661

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases: Publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) are waste-treatment works owned by a state, unit of local government, or tribe, usually designed to treat domestic wastewaters.

Methodology for computation of results:The Permit Compliance System, (PCS) tracks permit compliance and enforcement data for sources permitted under the Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Data in PCS include major permittee self reported data contained in Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMR), data on permittee compliance status, data on state and EPA inspection and enforcement response.

Permittee self reported either state or EPA Regional offices enter DMR data into PCS.  PCS automatically compares the entered DMR data with the pollutant limit parameters specified in the facility NPDES permit.  This automated process identifies those facilities, which have emitted effluent in excess of permitted levels. Facilities are designated as being in Significant Noncompliance  (SNC) when reported effluent exceedances are 20% or more above permitted levels for toxic pollutants and/or 40% or more above permitted levels of conventional pollutants. PCS contains additional data obtained through reports and on-site inspections, which are used to determine SNC, including:  non-effluent limit violations such as unauthorized bypasses, unpermitted discharges, and pass through of pollutants which cause water quality or health problems; permit schedule violations; non-submission of DMRs; submission of DMRs 30 or more days late; and violation of  state or federal enforcement orders.

There are established computer algorithms to compare DMR effluent data against permitted effluent levels.  The algorithms also calculate the degree of permitted effluent exceedance to determine whether toxic/conventional pollutant SNC thresholds have been reached.

Units: Number and national percent of major publicly-owned treatment works in compliance with their discharge permits.

Universe: Total number of major publicly-owned treatment works.

Baseline: The most recent baseline is 2005, 86%, as reported in PART. It is calculated by the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) using data collected in the Permit Compliance System (PCS) on major publicly-owned treatment works.

 


 

Measure Code:  WQ-17

Measure Language:  Fund utilization rate (cumulative loan agreement dollars to the cumulative funds available for projects) for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF).

Type of Measure: Target Measure; Cumulatively reported

Measure Contact:  George Ames, EPA Office of Wastewater Management
ames.george@epa.gov | (202) 564-0661

Measure Definition

Terms and phrasesLoan agreements are the dollar amount of loans provided by the State Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) to eligible borrowers.  Funds available for projects are the dollar amount of monies in the CWSRF over time that are available to fund projects. Such monies include federal capitalization grants, state matching contributions, bond proceeds, loan repayments, and interest earnings.

Methodology for computation of results:  The measure is calculated by dividing cumulative loan agreement dollars into the cumulative funds available for projects.

Units:  The units compared by the ratio are in dollars.

Universe:  The universe is the total cumulative amount of funds available for projects since the program’s inception in 1988. Data are collected annually from all 51 state CWSRF programs (50 states and Puerto Rico).

Baseline:  2002 is used as the baseline for this measure. It was calculated using data collected annually from all 51 state CWSRF programs (50 states and Puerto Rico).

 


 

Measure Code:  WQ-18

Measure Language: Number of people served by projects that protect or restore waterbody uses that impact human health per million dollars of CWSRF assistance provided for that purpose.

Type of Measure: Target measure; Cumulatively reported

Measure Contact:  George Ames, EPA Office of Wastewater Management
ames.george@epa.gov | (202) 564-0661

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases: CWSRF - Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

Methodology for computation of results:  Data are from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Benefits Reporting System (CBR).CBR contains state-by-state data on the environmental benefits achieved by each loan made by the 51 state CWSRFs.  Since CBR is a relatively new database (established in September 2005), it therefore does not contain data on all CWSRF loans since the inception of the program.  Some states have chosen to report the environmental benefits of loans made from earlier capitalization grants.  Data is entered into CBR by states on a rolling basis; however, states must enter all loans for a given fiscal year by the end of the state fiscal year.

CBR contains general information about each loan, including borrower, loan execution date, loan amount, repayment period and interest rate.  Data on the environmental benefits of each loan include population served, wastewater volume, needs categories addressed, discharge information (i.e. ocean, surface water, groundwater, etc), permit type/number (if applicable), affected waterbody name and ID number, and affected waterbody status (impaired or meeting standards).  CBR also collects information on whether each loan helps a system to achieve or maintain compliance, and whether it contributes to water quality improvement or maintenance.  The designated uses of the waterbody are identified, as well as whether the loan contributes to protection or restoration of each designated use.

Units: The units being compared are the number of people to the dollar amount of CWSRF assistance.

Universe: The universe is the dollar amount of CWSRF assistance provided to protect or restore waterbody uses that impact human health.

Baseline: 2005 is used as the baseline for the measure. It was calculated using data collected from all 51 state CWSRF programs (50 states and Puerto Rico) in the CWSRF Benefits Reporting System.

 


 

Measure Code: WQ-19 (a,b)

Measure Language:

(WQ-19a): Number of high priority state NPDES permits that are issued in the fiscal year.
(WQ-19b): Number of high priority state and EPA (including tribal) NPDES permits that are issued in the fiscal year.
 

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact:  Kathryn Riedlinger, EPA Office of Wastewater Management
riedlinger.kathryn@epa.gov | (202) 564-7004

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases: National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) - A provision of the Clean Water Act which prohibits discharge of pollutants into waters of the United States unless a special permit is issued by EPA, a state, or, where delegated, a tribal government on an Indian reservation.

Each year, State and Regional authorities are provided with a list of permits eligible for selection as priority permits. This “candidate list” is comprised of all permits expired as of the beginning of the fiscal year and those permits that will expire during the subject fiscal year. From this candidate list, States and Regions are asked to select as “priority permits” those permits that are a high priority for issuance based on programmatic and environmental criteria and commit to issuing 95% of these permits during the fiscal year. When States and Regions establish their lists each year, they designate priority permits to be issued within the fiscal year as well as for two successive years. If a State is able to issue permits designated for a future fiscal year ahead of schedule, they receive credit toward the current fiscal year target, which may result in issuing more permits than originally targeted.

Methodology for computation of results: Results are determined by dividing the number of priority permits issued during the subject fiscal year by the number of priority permits designated for issuance in the subject fiscal year. Priority permits designated for issuance in future fiscal years are credited toward the fiscal year in which they are issued (i.e., if a priority permit is scheduled for issuance in FY 2010 and is issued in FY 2009, that permit is counted toward the FY 2009 goal).

Units: Number of permits

Universe: FY 2009 universe will be available in March 2009.

Baseline: (2005) WQ-19a: 601 (104%); WQ-19b: n/a. The 2005 baseline for WQ-19a represents the number of priority permits that were issued in that fiscal year.  The baseline for WQ-19b is not available because the measure language was revised in FY 2009, therefore FY 2009 will be the baseline year.

 


 

Measure Code: WQ-20

Measure Language: Number of facilities that have traded at least once plus all facilities covered by an overlay permit that incorporates trading provisions with an enforceable cap.

Type of Measure: Indicator measure; Cumulatively reported

Measure Contact:  Kathryn Riedlinger, EPA Office of Wastewater Management
riedlinger.kathryn@epa.gov | (202) 564-7004

Measure Definition

Terms and Phrases: The trading measure counts all permitted point source facilities that have traded at least once using either individual or general permits that allow trading.  Facilities covered under an overlay permit (sometimes called an ‘aggregate,’ ‘watershed,’ ‘bubble,’ or ‘umbrella’ permit) that sets an enforceable cap on specific pollutant discharges are all automatically counted as having traded. 

Some overlay permits are 'nontransparent.'  That is, the trades are coordinated by a central party and trades are not individually reported to the State or to EPA. Other overlay permits with caps may be transparent in that EPA receives facility trading information.  This measure would count all facilities incorporated into either kind of overlay permit as having traded.  Facilities covered by a permit that does not set a cap would only be counted if they have traded at least once.

Methodology for computation of results: The results are calculated by totaling all permitted point source facilities that have traded at least once using either individual or general permits that allow for trading, or facilities that are under an overlay permit that sets an enforceable cap on specific pollutant discharges.

Units: Number of facilities

Universe: n/a

Baseline: 368 (FY 2008). The 2008 baseline represents the number of facilities that had traded at least once or were covered under an overlay permit at that time.

 


 

Measure Code: WQ-21

Measure Language: Number of water segments identified as impaired in 2002 for which States and EPA agree that initial restoration planning is complete (i.e., EPA has approved all needed TMDLs for pollutants causing impairments to the waterbody or has approved a 303(d) list that recognizes that the waterbody is covered by a watershed plan [i.e., Category 4b or Category 5m]).

Type of Measure: Indicator measure; Cumulatively reported

Measure Contact:  Shera Reems, EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds
reems.shera@epa.gov | (202) 566-1264

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases:

  • Water segment means a water body (or “segment”) as identified in state-submitted section 303(d) lists, section 305(b) reports, and Integrated Reports, for the 2002 reporting cycle. See EPA’s guidance for such reporting under “303(d) Listing of Impaired Waters Guidance” at http://www.epa.gov/owow/tmdl/guidance.html
  • Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is a technical plan for reducing pollutants in order to attain water quality standards.  The terms ‘approved’ and ‘established’ refer to the completion and approval of the TMDL itself.
  • Category 4b plans: TMDL alternatives that recognize other required controls will lead to water quality standards attainment within a reasonable period of time.
  • Category 5m:  A comprehensive mercury reduction program in place that meets elements recommended by EPA.

Methodology for computation of results: The count for this measure will be reduced as water segments (“water bodies” or “segments”) move into full water quality standards attainment.  Measure WQ-21 and measure SP-10 (SP-10 tracks the cumulative number of water bodies identified in 2002 as not attaining standards where water quality standards are now fully attained), when calculated together, reveal how the 2002 impaired water bodies are progressing through the initial restoration planning phase and then continue to track the water body when it fully attains water quality standards.

This measure counts water bodies for which all EPA-approved TMDLs and Category 4b plans (TMDL alternatives that recognize other required controls will lead to water quality standards attainment within a reasonable period of time) are established, or for which the state has a Category 5m (comprehensive mercury reduction) program in place that meets elements recommended by EPA (note: we recognize that Category 5m does not necessarily imply that water quality standards will be attained).  Parties should not hold off on implementing other TMDLs for a segment while waiting to complete restoration planning for mercury.  For Regions with mercury impairments, all segments for which restoration planning is complete except for mercury should be reported in the Annual Commitment System comment field.

Beginning in FY 2009, georeferencing data are requested for reported segments.  If segments reported under this measure are not already georeferenced, then those data should be provided in a format that would be compatible with the Reach Address Database (RAD) within the Watershed Assessment, Tracking & Environmental Results system (WATERS http://www.epa.gov/waters).

This measure only counts segments for which all water segment impairment combinations on the 2002 baseline have been addressed by TMDLs approved by EPA, Category 4b designations, or 5m designations, as noted. Please refer to Guidance for 2006 Assessment, Listing, and Reporting Requirements Pursuant to Sections 303(d), 305(b) and 314 of the Clean Water Act at http://www.epa.gov/owow/tmdl/2006IRG/report/2006irg-sec5.pdf, pp. 54-57, for details on Categories 4a and 4b.  Please refer to Listing Waters Impaired by Atmospheric Mercury Under Clean Water Act Section 303(d): Voluntary Subcategory 5m for States with Comprehensive Mercury Reduction Programs at http://www.epa.gov/owow/tmdl/mercury5m/Mercury5m.pdf,for details on comprehensive mercury reduction programs.

This measure does not count segments where restoration planning is now unnecessary (i.e., restoration planning is now unnecessary because the water body is no longer impaired).  A segment identified as impaired in 2002 is counted toward this measure when all of its 2002-listed impairments have initial restoration planning as described previously.  When all of the segment’s 2002-listed impairments are addressed and the segment is attaining water quality standards, the water body is removed from the measure WQ-21 tally and added to measure SP-10’s tally (which is a cumulative number of water bodies identified in 2002 as not attaining standards where water quality standards are now fully attained).

This measure does not count 2002-listed segments removed from Category 5 and subsequently re-categorized to Category 5 again (e.g., a 2002-listed impaired segment is moved to Category 4b, then it is determined controls are not sufficient to meet water quality standards within a reasonable time period as promised;  the segment is re-listed in 2010).

Table 1.  Water body segments credited toward measure WQ-21 versus SP-10 (full water body water quality standards attainment measure).

Units: Water Segment (see above)

Universe: The universe consists of an estimated 39,978 water bodies identified by states or EPA as not meeting water quality standards in 2002. Thus, 2002 is the baseline year for this measure. This universe is sometimes referred to as the “fixed base” or “SP-10 baseline.” The universe includes all waters in categories 5, 4a, 4b, and 4c in 2002. Of these waters, 1,703 are impaired by multiple pollutants including mercury, and 6,501 are impaired by mercury alone (see discussion of mercury in Methodology above). Impairments identified after 2002 are not considered in counting waters under this measure; such impairments may be considered when revising this measure for future updates of the Strategic Plan.

Baseline: The baseline for this measure is 39,978 water segments in the baseline year of 2002.  (See description of universe above.)

Note that this measure is related to former Measure WQ-33 in FY 2007.  The primary difference between the two measures is that Measure WQ-21 uses a 2002 baseline year, whereas WQ-33 used a baseline year of 2000.

Table 1. Water segments credited toward measure WQ-21 versus SP-10

Cases where mercury (Hg) is the only pollutant impairing a segment (per 2002 lists)

Segment attains water quality standards for Hg?

5m program or TMDL for mercury in place?

Counted in WQ-21?

Counted in measure SP-10?

No

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

(NA)

No - moves to measure  SP-10

Yes

Cases where mercury (Hg) is among multiple pollutants impairing a segment (per 2002 lists)

Segment attains water quality standards for Hg?

5m program or TMDL for mercury in place?

Segment attains water quality standards for other pollutants (aside from Hg)?

All other pollutants (aside from Hg) addressed with TMDLs/4b?

Counted in WQ-21?

Counted in measure SP-10?

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

Yes

No, report in ACS comment field

No

No

No

Yes

(NA)

No

Yes, footnote will give the number still impaired for Hg

No

Yes

No

No

No

No

No

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

(NA)

Yes

Yes (footnote will give the number still impaired for Hg)

Yes

(NA)

No

No

No

No

Yes

(NA)

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

(NA)

Yes

(NA)

No - moves to measure SP-10

Yes


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