A general website link at TCEQ
for overall information about the Texas â€śrecreational
use attainability analysesâ€ť (RUAA)
Project and other stream segments under
study is as follows: click here
â€˘ One TCEQ document of interest to people wanting
more in-depth information about the conduct of
a recreational use attainability analysis is a May
2009 set of procedures that explains the process. That
document may be found by following the more specific
link under â€śEvaluating Appropriate Recreational Usesâ€ť on the website page
Draft Comments of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club on the Proposed Revisions to the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards (TSWQS) â€“ 30 TAC Chapter 307 â€“ Rule Project 2007-002-307-EN â€“ To Be Submitted by Ken Kramer, Director, Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, on 3/17/2010
The Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club is the Texas state
arm of our national environmental organization. The Chapter
is submitting these comments on behalf of our over 22,000
Sierra Club members in Texas. Texas Sierrans have been concerned
about and active on water quality issues in our state since
the Chapter was first organized in 1965, and we have been
commenting on revisions to the Texas surface water quality
standards for over 30 years.
The Chapter appreciated the opportunity to be represented
in the Surface Water Quality Standards Advisory Work Group
established by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
(TCEQ) in March 2007 to provide feedback to the agency staff
on the review of the water quality standards (WQS). We acknowledge
and appreciate the extensive work of the TCEQ staff prior
to and during the review and development of proposed WQS
revisions. The staff has a rather thankless job in trying
to consider the diverse viewpoints of so many interests while
grappling with very complex issues without sufficient funding
to deal with all of the responsibilities they are given.
Unfortunately, while the Sierra Club is appreciative of the
effort that has gone into this revisions process and while
we support some of the proposed revisions (which will be
duly noted), many of the proposed changes are quite troubling,
are not sufficiently protective of the stateâ€™s water quality
(and in many instances are likely to result in lower water
quality), and do not meet the letter or the spirit of the
federal Clean Water Act. Following are our overview comments
on several aspects of the proposed revisions to the WQS,
and attached are specific comments on various sections and
appendices of 30 TAC Chapter 307.
Aquatic Recreation/Bacteria Pollution
The most troublesome part of the proposed revisions to the WQS are the changes that deal with recreational use of water bodies, the appropriate criteria for bacterial pollution, and the methods for determining whether stream segments and unclassified streams are attaining the bacterial standards set for those streams. The agencyâ€™s proposals, if adopted, will result in lower bacterial pollution standards for 293 Texas water bodies, increasing the risk of illness for people recreating in these lakes and streams.
Unfortunately it appears to us that TCEQ is undertaking a systematic effort to weaken existing clean water standards that protect the health of people who recreate in or on Texas lakes and streams. There is no scientific justification for these changes, and the public is not calling for such a change. TCEQ is taking this action under pressure from wastewater dischargers and to reduce agency staff workload.
The pressure from wastewater dischargers was clear from the involvement of their representatives in the deliberations of the WQS Advisory Work Group, beginning with the joint presentation by the Texas Water Conservation Association (TWCA) and the Water Environment Association of Texas (WEAT), trade associations for wastewater dischargers and engineering consultants, at the May 16, 2007 meeting of the WQS Advisory Work Group.
The TCEQ staff basically affirmed their main interest in making these changes when they were asked at the May 5, 2008 meeting of the Work Group to articulate the â€śproblemsâ€ť which these proposals were supposed to solve. Their response was that the â€śproblemâ€ť was that posed by having to do too many TMDLs (total maximum daily loads) because of so many streams violating the current levels for bacteria pollution. In other words the main answer was that it was agency workload. The TCEQ staff further affirms this in the publication of the proposed WQS revisions when they tout the cost savings from not having to take follow-up actions when streams come off the list of â€śimpairedâ€ť streams because the bacteria standards will be less stringent.
The Sierra Club is sympathetic to the agencyâ€™s resource constraints, and we been consistent in our support of the efforts by the agency to get more funding for water quality programs. We cannot support their efforts to solve their money problems by abandoning strong clean water protections, however; and that is what we see happening in the proposed revisions to the WQS dealing with bacteria pollution.
As TCEQ well knows, the U. S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working under a consent decree and settlement agreement in a federal lawsuit conducting science and research in order to publish new or revised recreational water quality criteria by October 2012. The appropriate time to consider any revisions to the aquatic recreation standards in the Texas surface water quality standards is AFTER the publication of those criteria by EPA â€“ in other words in the next â€śtriennialâ€ť review of the stateâ€™s WQS required under the federal Clean Water Act. Making extensive changes at this point â€“ especially changes that weaken the stateâ€™s current standards in this regard â€“ is premature at best.
Therefore, the Sierra Club opposes the proposed changes in the WQS that would:
â€˘ Raise the level of E. coli bacteria that may be found in Texas waters before they are considered polluted;
â€˘ Revise the recreational use categories for Texas water bodies and allow some lakes and streams used for recreation to have bacteria levels higher than the current levels for waters not used for recreation;
â€˘ Require two years of water quality sampling data in order to demonstrate that the geometric mean for bacteria levels violates the WQS, which is the trigger for requiring the agency to place the lake or stream on the list of â€śimpairedâ€ť waters;
â€˘ Eliminate the consideration of a single maximum water sample showing high bacteria levels in determining whether the WQS standard for the stream has been violated, no matter the risk to human health;
â€˘ Disallow water samples taken during high flow events or flooding to be used to demonstrate that a water body is polluted, even though enormous amounts of pollution are likely to be flowing into a water body during heavy rain events
Moreover, TCEQ gives no consideration as to how the lowering of E. coli in a stream segment upstream might affect the water quality in an immediate or proximate downstream segment that might be designated for a higher level of aquatic recreation use than the upstream segment.
Additional comments on these and other changes affecting aquatic recreation are included in our â€śSpecific Commentsâ€ť on the sections and appendices in the proposed revisions to 30 TAC Chapter 307.
In addition to the proposed revisions to the stateâ€™s water quality standards, TCEQ is also undertaking an extensive effort to study whether certain streams around the state are actually used for recreation. The Sierra Club is concerned that â€“ due to agency budget constraints and the difficulty of making the public aware of this process â€“ the results of these studies will be that many streams will be characterized as not used for recreation even when they are. If these streams are not deemed â€śrecreational useâ€ť streams, then they will be assigned even weaker bacterial pollution standards.
The Sierra Club believes that the inevitable result of all the changes proposed by TCEQ is that tens of water bodies in Texas currently considered as polluted because of bacterial contamination will now magically be considered clean, and TCEQ will no longer have to develop and implement clean-up plans for those streams. Indeed the preamble to the proposal as published in the Texas Register states that 62 Texas water bodies will no longer be considered in violation of water quality standards if the proposed changes in bacteria criteria are adopted. The Sierra Club believes that these changes would come at the expense of health costs and diminished recreational opportunities for Texans.
Because the Caddo Lake Institute has done extensive work in examining water quality issues in the Cypress Basin, the Sierra Club defers to and supports the comments being submitted by the Caddo Lake Institute regarding stream segment designations, water quality criteria, and other portions of the proposed changes to 30 TAC Chapter 307 that relate to water bodies in the Cypress Basin.
The Sierra Club supports the effort by TCEQ to adopt numerical nutrient standards for reservoirs in Texas. However, there are a number of deficiencies in the approach that TCEQ is taking in this effort. The Sierra Club endorses the more extensive comments on nutrients being submitted by the National Wildlife Federation.
A few key points are noted here:
The proposed screening levels for total phosphorus and for transparency should not be used as an additional test for whether or not nutrient standards are being violated if the chlorophyll a criteria is exceeded.
Sierra Club would support their use as independent criteria to demonstrate violation of the nutrient standard even if there is not an exceedance of chlorophyll a.
The Sierra Club opposes the use of the median rather than the mean to determine violation of the nutrient standard because it will tend to minimize the impact of algal blooms.
The requirement that samples be taken over a period of at least five years before an assessment may be made is unreasonable.
Finally, although we understand the rationale for using the main pool of the reservoir for sampling, TCEQ needs to develop a process for addressing concerns about nutrient problems in the arms and coves of reservoirs.
The Sierra Club also notes that federal clean water law and rules require the adoption of nutrient standards for other bodies of water such as rivers and streams, not just reservoirs, and urge TCEQ to move expeditiously in the next â€śtriennialâ€ť review and revision of WQS to develop and adopt protective nutrient standards for those other bodies of water.
The Sierra Club supported proposals advanced during the review process to provide specific protections for seagrasses by designation of stream segments as supporting seagrass use as part of the stateâ€™s WQS. We are disappointed that TCEQ staff succumbed to pressure from the Texas Department of Transportation (stemming from their concerns about the effects on maintenance of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway) and others to jettison the draft proposals for seagrass protection in the proposed revisions to WQS. The Sierra Club urges TCEQ to revive this effort to foster seagrass protection and move it forward to rulemaking on a separate and accelerated track prior to the next â€śtriennialâ€ť review and revision of the stateâ€™s WQS.
Segments Impacted by Wastewater Reuse Projects
TCEQ is proposing to lower water quality standards for three designated stream segments (Lake Tawakoni, West Fork Trinity River above Bridgeport Reservoir, and Lavon Lake) that are anticipated to be impacted by wastewater reuse projects. In all three instances the total dissolved solids criteria would be weakened, and in the case of West Fork Trinity River segment the aquatic life use category would be lowered and the dissolved oxygen criterion would be weakened. The Sierra Club opposes these downgrades. This issue has not been the subject of extensive public discussion or even more than passing mention during the deliberations of the WQS Advisory Work Group. No weakening of the water quality standards for these segments based on the impacts of wastewater reuse projects should be adopted during this revision of the WQS, and any such proposals should be examined thoroughly as part of the next â€śtriennialâ€ť revision of the WQS.
The Sierra Club commends TCEQ for moving forward in the establishment of numeric criteria for additional toxic materials. We support the consideration of childhood exposure in the development of numeric criteria. We also appreciate the narrowing of the language regarding instances in which the toxic criteria do not apply to â€śinstances where surface water, solely as a result of natural phenomena [emphasis added], exhibit characteristics beyond the limits established by this section.â€ť
We do not have the technical expertise available at this time, however, to comment on the specific numeric criteria proposed or revised for individual toxic materials with one exception that was widely discussed during the Work Group process and in comments submitted by EPA and others during that process. That exception is with regard to the criteria proposed for mercury.
The Sierra Club supports and endorses the comments being submitted by the Caddo Lake Institute regarding the mercury issue. The bottom line of our position is that we oppose the adoption of the 700 micrograms per kilogram criteria for mercury in fish and support the 300 micrograms per kilogram criteria recommended by EPA and endorsed by the Caddo Lake Institute. Our understanding is that more than half of the states in the country have adopted this more protective level, and given the magnitude of mercury emissions from sources in Texas, the more protective level would appear to be a prudent one for the health of Texans.
The Sierra Club supports the comments being submitted by the National Wildlife Federation with regard to procedures to implement the Texas surface water quality standards, especially the comments related to the issue of whole effluent toxicity testing.
307.3. Definitions & Abbreviations
307.3(a) â€“ Sierra Club opposes the elimination of the category of â€ścontact recreationâ€ť and its replacement with three new categories: primary contact recreation, secondary contact recreation 1, and secondary contact recreation 2. Additional recreational activities should be identified as â€ścontact recreationâ€ť in the standards; specific additions should include tubing, kayaking, canoeing, and rafting (the latter three activities should not be qualified as â€śwhitewaterâ€ť), and wading should not be limited to â€śwading by children.â€ť
307.3(a)(38) â€“ Sierra Club opposes the changes to the definition of â€śnoncontact recreationâ€ť in this round of water quality standards revisions. While the Club appreciates the fact that TCEQ staff propose that â€śfishing and boatingâ€ť be included in a new recreational use category rather than be considered â€śnoncontact recreationâ€ť the fact is that TCEQ staff propose that the E. coli criteria for secondary contact recreation be set at a less protective level than the current E. coli criteria for noncontact recreation.
307.3(a)(40) â€“ Sierra Club, in keeping with our position that associated screening levels for total phosphorus and for transparency should not be required for determination of whether a particular water body is in violation of nutrient numeric standards, recommends elimination of the last sentence in this definition of â€śnutrient criteria.â€ť
307.3(a)(47) â€“ Again, Sierra Club opposes the creation of the three new recreational use categories. If the three new categories are adopted, the definition of â€śprimary contact recreationâ€ť should eliminate the qualifying term â€śby childrenâ€ť for wading and eliminate the qualifying term â€śwhitewaterâ€ť for kayaking, canoeing, and rafting in the examples of activities that are considered primary contact recreation.
307.3(a)(53) â€“ Sierra Club opposes the creation of the â€śsecondary contact recreation1â€ť category. If the category is adopted, the term â€śboatingâ€ť should be qualified as â€śmotor boating.â€ť
307.3(a)(54) â€“ Sierra Club opposes the creation of the â€śsecondary contact recreation 2â€ť category. If the category is adopted, the term â€ślimited public accessâ€ť should be eliminated from the definition. In a state where over 90% of the land is privately-owned and where public access to even navigable streams is often quite limited, this is an overly broad construct. Moreover, private landowners with streams adjacent to their properties deserve to have their ability to recreate in or on those adjacent streams protected, even if there is not easy public access to those streams.
307.3(a)(80) â€“ The definition of â€śwetland water quality functionsâ€ť should include habitat for â€świldlifeâ€ť and not just habitat for aquatic life.
307.4. General Criteria
307.4(j)(2)(A) â€“ Sierra Club again opposes the division of contact recreation into three recreational categories with different levels of protection. Please reference the comment in 307.3(a)(54) above with regard to â€śsecondary contact recreation 2.â€ť
307.4(j)(2)(D) â€“ Sierra Club again opposes any change regarding â€śnoncontactâ€ť recreation at this time. If such a change is adopted the concept of â€śunsafe conditionsâ€ť as used here needs to be clarified as contact recreation of some types such as kayaking and canoeing might occur under conditions that some would term â€śunsafeâ€ť but others would not.
307.4(j)(3) â€“ It is unclear whether assigning a use less stringent than presumed use for unclassified streams would require a revision of the stateâ€™s surface WQS, with all of the applicable public notice and comment requirements. If such an action would be possible with only the completion and approval of a Use Attainability Analysis (UAA), then the Sierra Club objects to this much more limited process for making such an important decision affecting applicable pollution criteria for a stream.
307.6. Toxic Materials
307.6(a) â€“ Again, the Sierra Club supports the narrowing of the language regarding instances in which the toxic criteria do not apply to â€śinstances where surface water, solely as a result of natural phenomena [emphasis added], exhibit characteristics beyond the limits established by this section.â€ť
307.6(d)(1) Table 2 â€“ Mercury â€“ As noted above, the Sierra Club opposes the adoption of the 700 micrograms per kilogram criteria for mercury in fish and supports the 300 micrograms per kilogram criteria recommended by EPA and endorsed by the Caddo Lake Institute. Our understanding is that more than half of the states in the country have adopted this more protective level, and given the magnitude of mercury emissions from sources in Texas, the more protective level would appear to be a prudent one for the health of Texans.
307.6(d)(2) â€“ The Sierra Club supports the consideration of childhood exposure in the setting of human health criteria for noncarcinogens.
307.7. Site-Specific Uses and Criteria.
307.7(b)(1) â€“ The Sierra Club believes that the exemption that allows a classified segment to be designated for less than contact recreation or less than primary contact recreation on the basis that â€świldlife sources of bacteria are unavoidably highâ€ť in that segment is a highly questionable loophole because of the subjectivity involved and the lack of justification for the assertion.
307.7(b)(1)(A) â€“ The Sierra Club strongly opposes the weakening of the geometric mean criterian for contact recreation/primary contact recreation for E. coli from 126 per 100 ml to 206 per 100 ml. The 206 number is at the least protective end of the range of E. coli levels found to be â€śacceptableâ€ť in a very limited study. There is no scientific justification or public clamor for this change, and there is no reason why the State of Texas should strive to be less protective of the health of its citizens than most other states. With EPA set to establish new or revised criteria for pathogens by the fall of 2012, it is at best premature for TCEQ to make any change in the criteria at this time.
307.7(b)(1)(A) â€“ The Sierra Club also strongly opposes the creation of the new recreational use categories with correspondingly less protective criteria for bacteria. The proposed secondary contact recreation 1 geometric mean criterion of 630 per 100 ml represents a level higher than the current level for noncontact recreation, which is unacceptable and without justification, as is raising the criterion for noncontact recreation from 605 to 2060 per 100 ml â€“ an over threefold increase!
307.7(b)(4)(E) â€“ The Sierra Club again notes that we are opposed to the concept of supplemental screening levels for phosphorus and for transparency in determining violation of numeric nutrient standards.
307.8. Application of Standards
307.8(a)(2) â€“ The Sierra Club recommends that the critical low-flows for streams or rivers dominated by springflow should be the same (0.1% probability value) for streams or rivers that do not contain federally listed endangered or threatened species as they are proposed for streams or rivers that do contain such species.
307.9. Determination of Standards Attainment
307.9(b) â€“ The Sierra Club opposes the prohibition on the use of samples collected during extreme hydrologic conditions such as high-flows and flooding immediately after heavy rains. High levels of pollution often occur in water after periods of heavy rain as a result of runoff. Precluding the use of samples taken during such events will have the result, of course, of reducing the likelihood that a river or stream is determined to be in violation of WQS for that stream â€“ which may be the intention here. There is an inconsistency in the language used in this subsection. On the one hand, the statement is made that samples used to determine standards attainment â€śmust be representative in terms of location, seasonal variations, and hydrologic conditions. On the other hand, the prohibition on the use of samples collected during extreme hydrologic conditions is made. Weather is extremely variable in Texas, and hydrologic conditions vary throughout the year on a seasonal basis. To exclude samples collected during high flows and/or flooding is to render samples used to determine attainment â€śunrepresentativeâ€ť of the variable conditions on Texas streams.
307.9(e)(3) â€“ The Sierra Club opposes the requirement that standards attainment for bacteria must be based on a geometric mean of applicable samples â€ścollected over at least a two-year periodâ€¦â€ť While it is not inappropriate to require that the mean be determined from samples collected over a reasonable time frame, a period of at least two years is unreasonable. This requirement will also have the effect of limiting the likelihood that a stream would be found in violation of the standard.
The Sierra Club also opposes the dropping of a single sample maximum for determining standards attainment for bacteria. A person recreating in a stream may get ill from just one exposure to a stream contaminated with bacteria at a level even lower than the criteria for a single sample maximum. People do not become ill from â€śaverages.â€ť The effect of this prohibition on the use of a single sample maximum will once again be limiting the likelihood that a stream will be found in violation of the bacteria standard.
The Sierra Club notes that one of the hydrologic conditions for a high flow exemption for water samples is when â€śestimated flow severity index indicates that swimming is not practical or safe.â€ť The determination of what is or is not â€śpractical or safeâ€ť is subjective and may have the outcome of limiting samples to be used in making determinations of standards attainment. Moreover, it should be remembered that â€ścontactâ€ť or â€śprimary contactâ€ť recreation includes more than just swimming, and some of those other activities include kayaking and rafting that might be carried out under high flow conditions. Therefore, it is relevant to the consideration of human health impacts to consider bacteria readings during high flow conditions.
307.9(e)(4) â€“ The Sierra Club opposes the requirement that standards attainment for acute and toxic criteria for aquatic life must be based on the extent of criteria exceedance over a period of at least two years. The Sierra Club also opposes the requirement that standards attainment for human health criteria for toxics be based on the median rather than the average of samples collected. As EPA Region 6 pointed out in a February 2, 2009 letter to TCEQ Water Quality Planning Division:
â€śThe use of a median will typically smooth out outliers to provide a better description of conditions. However, for protection of human health, extreme values are more of a concern. The use of an average or mean incorporates magnitude more than with use of a median.â€ť
307.9(e)(7) â€“ As noted above, the proposed screening levels for total phosphorus and for transparency should not be used as an additional test for whether or not nutrient standards are being violated if the chlorophyll a criteria is exceeded. Sierra Club would support their use as independent criteria to demonstrate violation of the nutrient standard even if there is not an exceedance of chlorophyll a. The Sierra Club opposes the use of the median rather than the mean to determine violation of the nutrient standard because it will tend to minimize the impact of algal blooms. The requirement that samples be taken over a period of at least five years before an assessment may be made is unreasonable. Finally, although we understand the rationale for using the main pool of the reservoir for sampling, TCEQ needs to develop a process for addressing concerns about nutrient problems in the arms and coves of reservoirs.
307.9(e)(8) â€“ The Sierra Club opposes the proposed language that site-specific criteria for aquatic recreation, total dissolved solids, chloride, and sulfate not apply in the stream types and flow conditions described. This is a blanket limitation that at least calls for a more tailored approach. For example, with intermittent streams there may be contact recreation such as wading even when less than 20% of the stream bed of a 500 meter sampling reach is covered by pools. Site specific criteria for aquatic recreation ought to apply in such a circumstance.
307.9(f) â€“ The Sierra Club opposes (and believes that EPA regulations implementing the Clean Water Act do not allow) the deferment of a listing of a stream as impaired for a presumed high aquatic life use until a use attainability analysis of the water body has been conducted.
Appendix A â€“ Site-specific Uses and Criteria for Classified Segments
The Sierra Club opposes the downgrading of water quality in the 293 stream segments proposed to be designated as â€śprimary contact recreationâ€ť that would see the bacteria criteria made less stringent â€“ going from a criteria for E. coli of 126 colonies per 100 ml to 206 colonies per 100 ml.
Segment 0211 â€“ Little Wichita River â€“ The Sierra Club opposes the weakening of the dissolved oxygen criteria for this segment from 5.0 mg/l to 3.0 mg/l.
Segment 0305 â€“ North Sulphur River â€“ The Sierra Club opposes the reclassification of the segment from â€śhighâ€ť aquatic life use to â€śintermediateâ€ť aquatic life use for fish community and the assessment of the benthic community using â€ślimited aquatic use.â€ť
Segment 0507 â€“ Lake Tawakoni â€“ The Sierra Club opposes lowering the standards for total dissolved solids in order to accommodate a wastewater reuse project.
Segment 0812 â€“ West Fork of the Trinity River above Bridgeport, Reservoir â€“ The Sierra Club opposes the lowering of water quality standards for total dissolved solids, the lowering of dissolved oxygen standards, and the lowering of the aquatic life designation for this segment in order to accommodate a wastewater reuse project.
Segment 821 â€“ Lavon Lake â€“ The Sierra Club opposes the lowering of standards for total dissolved solids in order to accommodate a wastewater reuse project.
Segment 833 â€“ Clear Fork Trinity River above Lake Weatherford - The Sierra Club opposes the lowering of water quality standards for total dissolved solids, the lowering of the dissolved oxygen levels, and the lowering of the aquatic life standards in order to accommodate a wastewater reuse project.
Segment 1227 â€“ Nolan River â€“ The Sierra Club opposes the lowering of standards for total dissolved solids in order to accommodate a wastewater reuse project.
Segment 2485 â€“ Oso Bay â€“ The Sierra Club opposes the lowering of the dissolved oxygen criterion for Oso Bay from 5.0 to 4.5 mg/l, and we urge the adoption of a 24-hour minimum dissolved oxygen criterion of 2.0 mg/l instead of 1.5 mg/l.
Segment 2491 â€“ Laguna Madre â€“ The Sierra Club opposes the lowering of the dissolved oxygen criterion for Laguna Madre from 5.0 to 4.5 mg/l, and we urge the adoption of a 24-hour minimum dissolved oxygen criterion of 2.0 mg/l instead of 1.5 mg/l.
Appendix D â€“ Site-Specific Uses and Criteria for Unclassified Water Bodies
The Sierra Club supports all of the proposed designations of â€śhighâ€ť aquatic life use and corresponding dissolved oxygen criteria of 5.0 mg/l for specific unclassified water bodies (which are enumerated with the segment number of the segment within whose drainage basin they are a tributary) described in this Appendix as long as these designations do not allow a degradation in existing water quality. These designations include Harrison Bayou (0401), Prairie Creek (0504), Mill Creek (0506), No. 5 Branch (0506), Mill Creek (0615), Linney Creek (0801), Spring Branch (0801), Crooked Creek (0802), Unnamed tributary of Crooked Creek (0802), Basset Creek (0804), Town Creek (0804), Walnut Creek (0804), Walnut Creek (0809), Ash Creek (0809), Spring Creek (0840), Unnamed tributary of Woodsons Gully (1004), Woodsons Gully (1004), Mink Branch (1008), Sulphur Branch (1008), Mound Creek (1009), White Oak Creek (1009), Mound Creek (1015), Clear Creek (1202), Gonzales Creek (1232). Thompsons Creek (1242), Deer Creek (1242), Cluck Creek (1244), Tonk Creek (1246), Gilleland Creek (1428), Dry Creek (1428), Harris Branch (1428), and Wilson Creek (1501).
The Sierra Club also supports the designation of â€śexceptionalâ€ť aquatic life use and the corresponding dissolved oxygen criterion of 6.0 mg/l for the portion of Dry Creek (tributary within the drainage basin of Segment 1428) in Travis County described as â€śPerennial stream from the confluence with an unnamed tributary located approximately 2.73 km upstream of Wolf Lane upstream to the confluence of North Fork Dry Creek and Dry Creek.â€ť
The Sierra Club opposes the change proposed for the Lavaca River (1602) in Lavaca County that would decrease the minimum dissolved oxygen criteria from 4.0 mg/l to site-specific DO of 2.0 mg/l as a 24-hour average and 1.0 mg/l as a minimum from March 15th through October 15th.
Appendix F: Site-specific Nutrient
Criteria and Screening Levels for Selected Reservoirs
The Sierra Club supports the concerns raised in comments being submitted by the National Wildlife Federation and opposes the language in this appendix indicating that a criterion of 5Âµg/l will be applied for reservoirs with a calculated criterion of less than 5Âµg/l for chlorophyll a. We agree with the National Wildlife Federation that the standard should be set at the calculated value and that the same concern applies to the proposed screening levels for total phosphorus. We also reiterate our opposition to requiring application of the screening levels for total phosphorus and transparency in determining standards attainment even when the chlorophyll a criterion has not been attained.
Appendix G â€“ Site-specific Recreational Uses and Criteria for Unclassified Water Bodies
The Sierra Club opposes the designation of Brickhouse Gully/Bayou and the two unnamed tributaries of Whiteoak Bayou as â€śsecondary contact recreation 1â€ť with a geometric mean criterion of 630 colonies per 100 ml for E. coli. These unclassified bodies should continue to be presumed for contact recreation at this time. We believe that the proposals may be based on recreational use attainability analysis that may have been completed and submitted to EPA Region 6 but have not yet been approved. We also question whether or not the use attainability analysis conducted was adequate to make a determination that these bodies of water are not use for contact recreation/primary contact recreation.