Lane County Total Maximum Daily Loads

Addressing Total Maximum Daily Loads
Following direction from a group of local government managers, Lane Council of Governments (LCOG) is assisting local jurisdictions in meeting Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements. The area covered by this process is the Lane County portion of the Willamette River Basin including the McKenzie, Middle Fork, Coast Fork sub-basins and the southern portion of the Upper Willamette sub-basin.
Birds eye view of a river bend
The coordinated process covers lands under the jurisdictions of 9 local governments including Lane County, and the 8 cities outside of the Eugene / Springfield metro area.

Designated Management Agencies
Local jurisdictions, called Designated Management Agencies (DMAs) must develop implementation plans to address bacteria, mercury, and temperature by March 2008 to meet TMDL requirements. Jurisdictions can receive help in developing their plans from LCOG, the local Watershed Councils, and/or the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). LCOG is assisting 8 cities and Lane County in creating their implementation plans by coordinating joint meetings where possible and providing tools for implementation planning.

Gaps Analysis Worksheet
The Gaps Analysis Worksheet initiates the information gathering and planning process necessary to meet TMDL requirements. All Lane County DMAs have completed a Gaps Analysis Worksheet.

The worksheet has 4 purposes:
  1. Increases awareness of the TMDL requirements among public officials and staff as well as assisting understanding of how TMDLs may impact a jurisdiction.
  2. Records all water quality-related activities currently underway in the jurisdiction.
  3. Uses this record of activities to identify water quality protection assets and gaps.
  4. Prioritizes efforts to fill gaps for individual jurisdictions and the region as a whole.
Download Gaps Analysis Worksheet: PDF | Microsoft Word

Community Profiles
LCOG has produced a profile summary of Lane County and each small city jurisdiction in the Lane County portion of the Willamette River Basin. These profiles can be used by jurisdictions to describe their planning area in the TMDL implementation plans. Each city also has a map indicating the water-related features of the area.

Potential Strategies List
Through a multi-faceted approach of incentives, land use mechanisms, public operations, partnerships, and education, a variety of strategies target specific sources of contamination. The potential strategies list (PDF) is a starting point for local jurisdictions to consider for ways of addressing TMDL pollutant parameters. It is certainly not an exhaustive list and in many cases specific strategies need to be modified to fit local needs.

Stormwater Considerations
DMAs with populations under 10,000 are expected to give consideration to 6 stormwater control measures (PDF) in the process of developing implementation plans. This should include a description of the extent of the problem and the actions that will be taken to address it, as appropriate.

TMDL Strategy Matrix
One way for a jurisdiction to package their chosen strategies is to list and detail them in a strategy summary matrix. This matrix is a tool that captures most of the essential elements for jurisdictions to include in their implementation plans.

Sample Implementation Plans
The Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR 340-042-0025) that addresses TMDLs, requires local governments to develop implementation plans that include the following 5 elements:
  1. Management strategies to achieve load allocations
  2. A timeline and schedule to achieve measurable milestones
  3. A plan for periodic review and revision
  4. Evidence of compliance with applicable statewide land use requirements
  5. Any other analyses or information as specified in the Water Quality Management Plan
The overarching goal of an implementation plan is to minimize or, wherever possible, eliminate heat, bacteria, and mercury contributions to surface waters within the control of each jurisdiction.

Sample plans from our area include:
Headwaters Area Study
With the input of local jurisdictions, LCOG has conducted a study that identifies and analyzes common assets, gaps, and opportunities to partner with other jurisdictions in this part of the Willamette Basin. The DMAs outside of the Eugene/Springfield metro area vary in:
  • Existing infrastructure
  • Geography
  • Proximity to waterways
  • Resources available
  • Services provided
  • Size
  • Other aspects
Populations range from 300 to 8,500 and land under the authority of DMAs can be as little as 216 acres or as much as 670,000 acres. In spite of these differences, jurisdictions in Lane County have similar water quality conditions, challenges, and mandates due to their location within the context of the larger Willamette Basin.

Willamette Headwaters Study
The Willamette Headwaters: Water Quality Load Assets, Gaps, and Opportunities Study (PDF) provides an overview of TMDL parameters and requirements, a description of the sub-basins and local jurisdictions within those sub-basins, and an analysis of gaps, assets, and opportunities. The study is still in draft form and will not be completed until all jurisdictions have approved their implementation plans. At that time further commonalities and implementation opportunities can be identified. The draft study however can be used by local jurisdictions to draw from in creating the background information for their implementation plans.

For additional details about TMDLs and implementation planning explore the Department of Environmental Quality website.