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Regional water quality control board adopts TMDL amendment

June 30, 2001|By KELLY GRANT, Staff Writer

The California Regional Water Quality Control Board for the Colorado River basin region last week adopted an amendment to its basin plan to include the Alamo River silt and sedimentation total maximum daily load requirements.

The adopted TMDL includes several changes from the draft released earlier this spring. Some of the changes include lengthening the timelines for compliance and a reduction of Imperial Irrigation District monitoring requirements.

The revisions are the result of public comments, particularly those made during a public workshop held in May, during which many Imperial Valley farmers and local agency officials questioned and critiqued the draft.

This TMDL aims to reduce the amount of silt and sediment in the Alamo River from 400 milligrams per liter of water to 200.


During the regional board meeting, executive officer Phil Gruenberg told board members to adopt the amendment "because you feel it's the right thing to do, not because someone in Sacramento tells you."

"I think they did find quite a bit of common ground," Gruenberg said of the revisions.

Andy Horne, president of the IID Board of Directors, told board members the revised basin plan addresses many of IID's concerns.

"There's ground for work," Horne said, adding that the IID remains concerned about TMDLs.

Lauren Grizzle, executive director of both the Imperial County Farm Bureau and Imperial Valley Vegetable Growers Association, said she was pleased with the regional board staff's responsiveness from the workshop.

Grizzle said she too maintains concerns about this TMDL's economic impacts.

"We don't know if we can achieve this TMDL," she told the board, adding she trusts the board will be a partner.

The Alamo River silt and sedimentation TMDL, just one of several TMDLs the Imperial Valley will face in the coming years, must go to the State Water Resources Control Board and the United States Environmental Protection Agency before implementation.

Staff Writer Kelly Grant can be reached at 337-3441.

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