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October 18, 2012

Water quality group to learn more about Chesapeake's TMDL

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Cooperstown Crier

---- — Ron Entringer of the state Department of Environmental Conservation will give a presentation on the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load at the next Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee meeting on Thursday, Oct. 25.

The WQCC meeting, which will begin at 1 p.m. in Classroom A of The Meadows Office Building, 140 County Highway 33W in Cooperstown, will be hosted by the Otsego County Planning Department. This event is free and open to the public; pre-registration is required by Monday, Oct. 22. Those interested in attending should email WQCC Facilitator Darla M. Youngs at admin@occainfo.org or call 547-4488.

In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency put forward a Total Maximum Daily Load for the Chesapeake Bay, which is intended to reduce nutrients from the watershed. A TMDL specifies the maximum amount of a pollutant that a waterbody can receive and still meet water quality standards. According to state DEC, TMDLs account for all contributing point and nonpoint sources, natural background levels and seasonal variations in the pollutant load, and incorporate a margin of safety that also accounts for unknown or unexpected sources of the pollutant. Essentially, a TMDL defines the capacity of the waterbody to absorb a pollutant and still meet water quality standards.

Entringer, chief of the state DEC Water Quality Management Section, will explain how his agency has worked with local stakeholders to develop a reasonable approach for meeting these EPA requirements. This presentation will be of special interest to agricultural producers, elected officials, property and business owners, watershed groups, contractors, developers and others, according to media release.

This event is made possible thanks to the Otsego County WQCC, which,to better satisfy the educational component of its mission, has restructured its monthly meetings to include public information sessions.

The OCWQCC was established in 1992 as a sub-committee of the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District. It is composed of people representing state and local government agencies, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and lake associations. The members have technical expertise and knowledge and are committed to working to improve and maintain the quality of water in Otsego County through the reduction of nonpoint source pollution within its boundaries.

For more information on the WQCC, visit www.otsegosoilandwater.com/waterqualitycc.html