Information Request for Upper Maumee Watershed Management Plan Review

Question 1.  The Upper Maumee Watershed Management Plan is currently being reviewed by:

A. Watershed Planning Branch – (not concerned about content, not concerned about specific point-source polluter) i.e. like the LUST at the Gas House, they would suggest and consider not to pinpoint specific polluter, regulating agencies do not have the funds or personelle to implement these rules as effectively as they should to protect public health).

B. DEPARTMENT(S) – INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
TITLE –
NAME (S)  – Joe Schmese and one other person in the Watershed Planning Branch

C. OHIO ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
DEPARTMENT(S)
TITLE
NAME (S) and Watershed Planning Branch in Ohio (3 people) and one DNR are reviewed for completeness

OEPA review it for technical aspect, looking at analysis and make suggestions.

Nonregulatory – everyone reviewing so it has everything that is in an official WMP
NON-REGULATORY government are reviewing (no regulatory agencies are reviewing the plan)

Format expands beyond our watershed, so even UPSTREAM is included (i.e. problems in Fort Wayne)- appears to be precedence setting, previously WMP’s DO NOT include outside 8 digit HUC codes.

Justified because (including) all of Fort Wayne as critical and many of the problems directly upstream are still within the larger watershed.

C. Who are the other 2 other people/title/department(s) total in the process – are they to already know all the other sections at IDEM and will point things out if UMWMP is missing something?  Please give examples of what would be missing or examples of what has been added/deleted.

D. If the Federal Environmental Protection Agency is reviewing the process, what are their role/duties.
Who is the federal EPA representative / reviewers?
This designated representative from the EPA will be reporting to who?  Federal Senate/Senators – of which States?

Suggestions:

Put more pressure on MS4 Operators. ~ Who’s responsible for oversight?  MS4 Operators only measure at source head – not output pipe.
NEED to check the drainage of the stormsewers

Reason to write = to determine where the problems ARE and then immediately IMPLEMENT 

THE MAIN SOURCE (non-point) coming from Agriculture – how are these areas to be pinpointed problem areas?  Addressed?

IF we pinpoint specifically as a problem, the offenders will take offense to being called out.

Particular polluter will be offended they (business) were listed within the WMP.

TMDL = NO TEETH – too vague, not knowing where to spend our $ and not knowing if it will help.  Total Maximum Daily Loads are good for having a suggestion of HOW MUCH __________actually impaires the river….NO TEETH if it exceeds set limits.  Plus, set limits are already exceeded by the federal 303 (d) list of impaired waterways.

WMP = where to spend money and results we get from increasing buffers in ag and urban land

Permitted Facilities, LUSTS, Brownfields, potential for pollutants to be throughout the entire city – but need to find out if there are truly issues with non-point source problems.

Setting a présidence for other watershed Management planners to include upstream urban areas.

Set up face to face meeting with people on specific bills and talk to them. Work with them to write counter legislation or amendments (and what you can add to soil) Make this information accessible to community so they know, doing on the ground things.

No one within the Upper Maumee Watershed Partnership or Committees or Steering Committee want to work on lay legislation, bills, City Code, amendments – they want to work ON THE LAND. (niche here)

2. Do these WMP review agents of IDEM and OEPA report to a Board or internal/external Supervisor?  APPROVAL comes from Section Chief of the Watersehd Planning and Assessment Branch.

3. Who reviews the above agents decision to APPROVE or DISAPPROVE submitted drafts for Watershed Management Plans?

Save Maumee suggestions to improve processes:

REQUEST: There should be a review of the process of approving Watershed Management Plans.

It appears many of the true issues; pinpointing direct contamination, or professional opinions (of higher potential to contaminate waterways) are intentionally being omitted or overlooked by the WMP regulating agencies due to fear of confrontation with the business targeted as an area of concern. Many professionals and experienced personelle are aware of issues, but adding certain issues are deemed “inappropriate”  IDEM & IS ONLY enforcement

Confirming that WMP’s are CHECKING FOR FACTS OR ADDING MISSED DATA, not looking to suppress anything.

REQUEST: plans highlighted specific tributaries and “hotspots” rather than general 14 digit HUC codes.

This is the document I am working on to add to the review process of the  UPPER MAUMEE WATERSHED MANAGEMENT PLAN it is a work in progress….

Questions:

How much money has been spent in the Federal 319 grant process for this UMWMP development?

What other grants have supplemented the Upper Maumee Watershed Management Plan development?

Since the Upper Maumee Watershed Partnership does not have official bylaws approved, I need to make sure that all these things are in order for our group and duties as Treasurer.

1) Is the UMWP a 501c3? What is the federal tax ID #? ANSWER: NOT A NONPROFIT
If not, what is the UMWP considered?  ANSWER: QUAZI GOVERNMENT

2) Is there a checking account? If there are two accounts (one for Indiana, and one for Ohio), I understand.  I thought the 319 grant is supposed to have a separate checking account?  Explain how you thought the process of working with two States to develop this plan together?
Did UMWP file an IRS 990 for 2011? 2010? 2009? –  If not, what tax records were filed?
3) How will the implementation of this plan commence now?

I understand there are challenges with the two States working side by side to “blend the watershed management plans together” but when Jason Rorhrig was handing the job over to Nicole Grinley, he explained that the Defiance SWCD funds had been used so the Upper Maumee Watershed Partnership money is not exact.  Never has anyone received any monitory spending report from Allen County SWCD.  Now that the 319 plan is completed, the commingling should be accounted-for, because the last Treasury Report I have is dated April 16, 2009 is the Group Expense Report and August, 2009 Funding Expenses.

Kyle Quandt – contracted by AC SWCD to write UM WMP
Allen County SWCD (Indiana)
Sharon Partridge – Greg Lake – Dan Wire – Martha Ferguson – Jennifer Thumb
Shannon Watson
Defiance SWCD (Ohio)
Stephanie Singer – Jason Rohrig – Nicole Grinley – 

 Dekalb County (Indiana)
Paulding County (Indiana)
Printing/Promotions
Programs/Projects
Windshield Survey
Water Testing

Donations?

Allen County SWCD 2011 Recap:

St. Joseph River:
* 2 IDEM 319 Grants = $651,361 with $319,000 budgeted for personnel
* Save Maumee is looking for results from the GIS technology aerials of the region to assess the land use and estimated size of current buffers

St. Marys River:
* IDEM & Great Lakes Commission = (IDEM $396,072 & GLC $448,115) received total of $844,187 with $291,637 for staffing

Maumee River:
* Total of $650,466 …with $186,132 for staffing

  • IDEM: $297,066 for other implementation
  • GLC: $353,400 in cost share funds to provide financial assistance to producers who implement ag. BMP’s