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A Case Study of Implementation Plan Development in Three Virginia Watersheds

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Pp. 99-104 in Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Environmental Regulations: Proceedings of the March 11-13, 2002 Conference, (Fort Worth, Texas, USA)  701P0102.(doi:10.13031/2013.7536)
Authors:   Phillip McClellan, Byron Petrauskas, James Kern
Keywords:   TMDL, Fecal Coliform, Implementation, Public Participation, Modeling, Monitoring, Environment, Pathogens, Water Quality, Watershed

MapTech, Inc. was contracted by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (VADCR) to develop TMDL Implementation Plans for twelve impaired waters. These impairments were distributed, 4 each, in three major watersheds across the state: the Blackwater River Watershed in Franklin County, the North River Watershed in Rockingham County, and the Middle Fork Holston River Watershed in Washington County. Each of the twelve waters was impaired due to high fecal coliform concentrations. Muddy Creek in the North River Watershed was also impaired due to exceedances of the nitrate standard. The plans were developed concurrently and efforts were made throughout to compare progress. This paper presents a description of the process, including; public participation, monitoring, identification and quantification of control measures, and modeling to determine water quality milestones during implementation. Water quality monitoring conducted during plan development was a key component in gaining public confidence and targeting control measures. Geographically distributed monitoring networks were used to confirm levels and sources of contamination identified during modeling, and to spatially refine source contributions. This information was consequently used for targeting critical areas, where implementation efforts could be focused. There were many similarities among the watersheds studied, however significant differences impacted the plan development process. While the primary land use in all three of the watersheds represented in this paper was livestock-intensive agriculture, important differences were revealed upon comparison. These differences were primarily cultural, but played an important role in defining the approach taken during implementation. This paper is an effort to compare and contrast the process as it unfolded in each of the watersheds.

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