Clean Water Act Section 106 Guidance for Tribes in the Pacific Northwest
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the new Final Guidance of Awards of Grants to Indian Tribes under Section 106 of the Clean Water Act on October 20, 2006.
Because not every Tribe will be able to comply with all elements of the Guidance immediately, the Region 10 office will be focusing on the three components of the Tribal Assessment Report (TAR) in the following priority order:
(A) developing a monitoring strategy,
Future Section 106 funding decisions will be based partly on a Tribe’s compliance with the Guidance and the target dates and requirements described on this page. This Guidance will be reflected in each new Section 106 grant agreement as a programmatic condition.
Step 1: Submit Preliminary Water Quality Monitoring Program Self-Assessment
(B) entering data into STORET/WQX, and
(C) completing an assessment report.
The development of a water quality monitoring strategy entails first determining the Tribe's type of water quality program. The Guidance categorizes these programs into three tiers: “fundamental,” “intermediate,” and “mature.” These tiers are largely based on which parameters the Tribe will be monitoring. In Region 10, each Tribe has submitted a self-assessment reflecting the tier that best describes its Water Quality Monitoring Program.
Step 2: Request Waivers for Particular Monitoring Requirements
If according to the Guidance a Tribe would be expected to monitor for particular parameters that it believes are not warranted or not appropriate, Region 10 expects the Tribe will request to have those monitoring requirements waived or modified. Region 10 will grant limited waivers on a case-by-case basis but does not intend to grant waivers for fundamental tier parameters. Tribes may request a waiver for monitoring nitrogen, phosphorus, pathogens (e.g. fecal coliform, E. coli, or enterococci), macro invertebrates or physical habitat.
Step 3: Develop a Monitoring Strategy
For example, reasons for waivers may include:
(1) if a Tribe has existing data for nitrogen, phosphorus or pathogens and can use that data to demonstrate that there is no water quality problem associated with this parameter,
(2) the Tribal water bodies are so unique that monitoring protocols do not exist for macro invertebrates and/or physical habitat, or
(3) if a Tribe determines that monitoring for fecal coliform is more appropriate for its waters, instead of enteroccocci.
Tribes are encouraged to submit draft monitoring strategies with their self-assessments or waiver requests to expedite processing. EPA Region 10 will strive to complete its review of self-assessments, associated waiver requests, and monitoring strategies in a timely manner.
Step 4: Enter STORET Data
The following document provides assistance in developing a monitoring strategy:
Water Quality Monitoring Strategy (PDF) (23 pp. 289K)
All data is to be entered into STORET/WQX by December 31, 2008. EPA Region 10 has provided training and workshops on entering data into STORET, and intends to offer additional training or workshop events. Contact Janette Rau at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 553-0483 or Jim Hileman at email@example.com or (206) 553-1640.
Step 5: Complete Water Quality Assessment Reports
For additional technical information, go to http://www.epa.gov/STORET/ and refer to the STORET Excel Spreadsheet Template (1.1MB Excel Spreadsheet file)
EPA Region 10 expects assessment reports to be submitted by December 31, 2009. The office will provide further information between January and May 2009 on how to develop an assessment report. If you have any questions, please contact Gretchen Hayslip (206-553-1685) firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Janette Rau at email@example.com or (206) 553-0483.
The following document provides assistance in developing an assessment report:
Water Quality Data Assessment Outline Template (PDF) (17 pp. 237K)