Skip to main content

A Unique Use Attainability Analysis Incorporating Collaboration and Predictive Tools

Buy Article:

$9.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Or sign up for a free trial

Amongst other Designated Uses, in Virginia, all waters are designated for the propagation and growth of a balanced and indigenous population of aquatic life, including game fish, that might reasonably be expected to inhabit them. A narrative or “general” criterion is applied to protect this aquatic life designated use. This criterion asserts that State waters…shall be free from substances…in concentrations…harmful to aquatic life. Historically, this criterion has been assessed through various benthic macroinvertebrate assessment guidelines.

A central Appalachian headwater stream was determined to be impaired for the aquatic life use. A TMDL concluded that total dissolved solids and total suspended solids were the stressors. In the absence of approved numeric criteria for these parameters, Virginia developed ad hoc water quality targets for use in the TMDL and subsequent implementation efforts. Virginia's State law requires each TMDL to have an Implementation Plan (IP). An industrial stakeholder group believed that the default designated use was not attainable and commissioned a use attainability analysis. Furthermore, data suggested that the designated use may not have been achieved on or after November 28, 1975 (a prerequisite for a UAA).

The development of this UAA has been enhanced by a unique level of cooperation amongst the various stakeholder groups. The UAA process was initiated with a demonstration that there were reasonable grounds to justify the conduct of a UAA. This reasonable grounds determination was negotiated cooperatively with several regulatory agencies and various special interest groups. As part of the cooperative agreement, this UAA was integrated with the TMDL IP. From this agreement, a UAA study plan evolved in a collaborative manner. Study oversight has been through a technical workgroup that includes both state and federal regulators.

The study is using historical data to determine the level of existing use. Furthermore, relationships between the biological condition and individual stressors/pressures are being established. Remediation projects are being defined. Some of these projects will be applied in the short term. Others are proposed but may be both economically and socially infeasible. A predictive tool is being developed based upon site-specific data. This predictive tool will be used to determine the post-remediation use attainment level.

Different scenarios or recommendations are expected to result from this study. For example, one possible recommendation is to retain the present designated aquatic life use and criterion. Amongst several alternative recommendations, it is conceivable that the development of a new subcategory of the use with its unique criterion could be recommended. This paper summarizes the milestones achieved to date, including the development of the predictive tool.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Data/Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Designated Uses; Implementation Plan; Predictive Tool; TMDL; Use Attainability Analyses

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

More about this publication?
  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation includes access to most papers presented at the annual WEF Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) and other conferences held since 2000. Subscription access begins 12 months after the event and is valid for 12 months from month of purchase. A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is included in Water Environment Federation (WEF) membership.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access. Access begins 12 months after the conference or event
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • Learn about the many other WEF member benefits and join today
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more