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  1. Upper West Walker River Rangeland Best Management Practices - Bud Amorfini

    Regional Board staff are managing a contract for a Clean Water Act 319(h) project established with the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), under the direction of Dr. Robert Curry. The project site includes portions of the upper reach of the West Walker River, in the Pickel Meadow area adjacent to State Route 108. Non-point source water quality degradation has occurred in the upper West Walker River watershed due to heavy livestock grazing and recreation use in riparian and wetland areas within the project site. The purpose of the project is to implement and monitor rangeland best management practices (BMPs) to assess the effectiveness of non-point source pollution controls associated with grazing activities on private, California Department of Fish and Game, and U.S. Forest Service lands.

    The project is scheduled to extend over three to four years to assess watershed improvements by implementing the rangeland BMPs. The project includes:

    • constructing livestock control fencing to protect sensitive areas,
    • planting willow and cottonwood cuttings on eroding stream banks,
    • improving irrigation structures to increase efficiency, reduce nutrient loading, and protect aquatic life,
    • conducting community outreach and educational activities, and
    • monitoring the physical habitat and biological characteristics of the watershed through the course of the project.

To date, the rangeland BMPs have been implemented and baseline monitoring has been conducted. Monitoring will be continued through November 2002 and a final report documenting the results of the project will be prepared by February 2003. Regional Board and UCSC staffs are planning to conduct an interim assessment of the project results during the spring of 2001. Results of the project will be used to educate the public and provide a benchmark for future implementation of rangeland BMPs in other areas of the Region.

  1. Markleeville Public Utility District, Time Schedule Order, Alpine County - Jason Churchill

    The Markleeville Public Utility District operates a sewage treatment facility serving the town of Markleeville. A portion of the District's sewage force main is located in an embankment above Markleeville Creek, beneath the only road that provides access to the facility. The creek embankment in this area was severely eroded during the January 1997 floods. Further erosion could lead to failure of the road or force main, and release untreated sewage to Markleeville Creek, a tributary of the East Fork Carson River.

    To address this threat, the Executive Officer issued Time Schedule Order (TSO) No. 6-00-70 on August 15, 2000. The TSO required the District to submit a time schedule and plan of corrective actions to address the threats to the access road and force main, and a contingency plan in the event of a road or force main failure. The District submitted the required information to the Regional Board on September 7, 2000, and proposed a stream bank stabilization project that involves placing riprap and willow plantings to improve riparian habitat. The TSO also enabled the District project to qualify for a grant under the Small Communities Grant (SCG) program administered by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB).

    The Executive Officer has issued a Section 401 Water Quality Certification Order for the project, and the District began constructing the project on November 13, 2000 (while continuing to seek an SCG grant award). It is expected that the project will be completed during November 2000, in time to protect the access road and force main from further erosion during the wet season.

  2. River Day - Cindy Wise

    Regional Board staff recently participated in an outreach and environmental education activity called River Day. This event is sponsored each year by an elementary school in South Lake Tahoe for over 100 third grade students. The event is held at the Upper Truckee River, the main tributary to Lake Tahoe. Staff organized creative and informative water quality related activities at four of the ten stations that were part of this event. These activities showed the effects of erosion and pollution on water quality. The students had the opportunity to measure the water quality parameters of temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and sediment. The Citizen Monitoring Coordinator assigned to the Region from the State Board assisted with the many demonstrations. Staff from other agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, California State Parks, and the South Lake Tahoe Public Utilities District presented other river-related activities.

  3. Edwards Air Force Base, Potassium Permanganate Use - Elizabeth Lafferty

    The potassium permanganate in-situ ground water treatment pilot program was very successful. The central plume concentrations of trichloroethylene (TCE) were reduced to non-detectable. No adverse breakdown products (such as vinyl chloride) were detected. From the preliminary information based on about three weeks of ground water monitoring, it is concluded that the oxidation process is extremely fast. The destruction of TCE is based on the principle of in-situ oxidation of TCE. Board staff has requested additional information to determine:
    1. if the method is cost effective;
    2. the remediation time required to clean up to non-detectable concentrations in ground water for the entire vertical and horizontal extent of the plume;
    3. determine the total extent (vertical and horizontal) of the radius of influence within the fractured bedrock;
    4. determine the appropriate treatment method for removal of acetone to background; and
    5. if any negative effects on water quality occurred as a result of this pilot program.

  4. County Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, Lancaster Water Reclamation Plant, Facility Planning Alternatives Status - Ted Saari

    On November 16, 2000, Regional Water Quality Control Board staff (Board staff) participated in a public and agency stakeholder meeting hosted by the County of Los Angeles Sanitation Districts (LACSD) and their consultant. LACSD presented their current facility planning alternatives and solicited public input. The facilities planning process was begun in September 2000 and is expected to be completed in May of 2002. The alternatives considered were:
    1. Construction of approximately five square miles of evaporation ponds and pipeline distribution system to the ponds;
    2. Construction of an expanded agricultural water recycling area of up to 2300 acres and up to 1400 acres of additional storage ponds and pipeline distribution systems to the recycling area and ponds;
    3. Construction of a municipal water recycling system including additional treatment facilities and up to 3000 acres of municipal water recycling areas such as greenbelt areas and up to 1300 acres of additional storage ponds with pipeline distribution systems;
    4. Implementation of water recycling in the summer combined with underground injection/storage in the winter; increased winter discharge to Rosamond Lake as necessary storage with elimination of the discharge to the lake in the summer and;
    5. Discharge of additionally treated effluent to the Los Angeles Aqueduct.

    LACSD plans to focus on the two most viable alternatives, which consist of constructing evaporation ponds and agricultural water recycling. Beginning in February or March 2001, LACSD intends to begin the formal Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process focusing on those two alternatives with sub-alternatives, to be completed later that year. After the EIR process completion, subsequent activities such as land acquisition and construction of facilities is projected to take two to three years.

    Community input was offered by several members of the public primarily focussing on their request for Edwards Air Force Base to actively participate in executing the project in ways involving preservation and/or enhancement of Paiute Ponds and surrounding wetlands.

  5. Grazing Fencing Complete along Upper Owens River - Cindi Mitton

    As part of implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) to protect water quality from grazing activities, the City of Los Angeles, Department of Water and Power (LADWP), has completed fencing along the Upper Owens River on all of its grazing leases. The fencing is part of an overall program of BMPs, including stock rotation, riparian restoration, and monitoring of bank and vegetation health within the Upper Owens Watershed. The fencing is also associated with development and implementation of total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) within the watershed.

    LADWP has worked with ranchers, fishermen, Board staff, and other interested parties to develop a program that is protective of water quality while still allowing access for grazing land and water use. Monitoring has shown that fencing along with other BMPs contribute significantly towards protection of water quality and habitat in the watershed. Board staff will continue to work with LADWP and other interested parties regarding BMP implementation.

  6. Owens Lake Dust Control Mitigation - Joe Kenny

    Los Angeles Dept of Water and Power (LADWP) has elected to use shallow flooding for long term dust control mitigation on 22.5 square miles of the 110 square mile Owens Dry Lake. The project schedule calls for an initial ten square miles to be mitigated by December 2001.

    LADWP began construction of the initial phase of this project in October 2000. Officials of the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District recently announced that a contractor is building a turnout from the Los Angeles Aqueduct near Boulder Creek Lodge. From the turnout a twin pipeline will be constructed to conduct the water down to and across the lakebed connecting to two large irrigation systems. Each irrigation system will consist of thousands of risers to distribute water onto the surface of the lake.

    Regional Board staff conferred with LADWP and Inyo County on the review of the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) prepared for the construction phase. Board staff is currently reviewing the Mitigation and Monitoring Plan required for the wetland areas during the post-construction phase.

  7. O.K. Corral Ostrich Ranch - Joe Koutsky

    In August 2000, Superior Court Judge John Tomberlin gave Doug Osborne, owner of the OK Corral Ostrich Ranch, 60 days to relocate the O.K. Corral Ostrich Ranch in Apple Valley. The town evicted Osborne in April after he failed to obtain a special use permit to raise the birds on the property. The ranch has raised up to 550 ostriches on site since 1994.

    Osborne proposed to move the ranch to a property located near the Mojave River that is owned by the City of Adelanto. However, an environmental review of the project by the City of Adelanto could not have been completed prior to the deadline in the eviction notice. In November, the issue was resolved when Osborne elected to relocate the ostrich ranch to a newly leased property located appreciably distant from the Mojave River in the northern part of Apple Valley. Board staff will evaluate the potential impacts to water quality from the ranch to determine if there is a need to formally regulate this facility.