Bruce Rauner, Governor
Targeted Watershed Contents
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Bureau of Water began the process of restructuring its program activities in all areas around a priority watershed management approach in 1993. This restructuring includes both water pollution control and drinking water programs and focuses on restorative as well as preventative measures directed to both surface and groundwater resources.
This report describes the framework for prioritizing program activities utilizing a Targeted Watershed Approach (TWA). The Illinois EPA is committed to directing available resources within Bureau of Water programs to watersheds where the greatest environmental benefit can be realized. To the extent that flexibility is available in our mandated and delegated responsibilities under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA), Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), and state statutes, the Illinois EPA targets those programs and watersheds that have the greatest impact on human health issues and ecosystem protection. Therefore, watersheds are targeted for specific action while using the balance of available programmatic resources to maintain a statewide baseline program.
The TWA significantly broadens the scope, purpose, and geographic targeting of the Bureau of Water's program activities from efforts prior to 1993. Besides placing increased emphasis on preventative measures, the TWA expands the scope of geographic targeting from existing Federal requirements under Section 303(d) of the CWA. This Section requires states to identify water quality limited waters, establish a priority ranking for such waters, and target watersheds for development of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) (Illinois EPA, 1996). Ranking of these water quality limited waters on a statewide basis results in the major water quality problems being identified in only a few parts of the state. The 303(d) process, which focuses on water quality problems and restorative measures, is used in conjunction with criteria for existing high quality resources and protection measures to provide a more comprehensive approach to geographic targeted and prioritization of water resources (rivers, streams, Lake Michigan, inland lakes and groundwater).
Prioritization of watersheds was conducted on a program basis including the point source, nonpoint source, lakes, and drinking water programs. The TWA will be generally used to direct program activities on a watershed basis as follows:
Coordination Within Bureau of Water Programs
In addition to prioritizing specific programs areas as identified above, the TWA also identifies watersheds where Bureau of Water programs need to be coordinated (i.e. watersheds that are identified as a priority for more than one Bureau of Water program). This component of the TWA will be an important tool for implementation of the Illinois EPAs Watershed Management Approach, which addresses the total spectrum of water resource management issues.
The TWA will be utilized by the Illinois EPA for the coordination of its priorities with the priorities of other federal, state and regional agencies. As part of the process for identification of high quality streams, the TWA incorporates the State Protected Streams list developed by an inter-agency committee of the Natural Resource Coordinating Council (Report on State Protected Streams, 1995).
Goals and Objectives
The goal of the TWA is to focus programs and resources to those areas having the greatest need for correction, protection or restoration while continuing statewide program activities.
Objectives for the utilization of this approach in Illinois are to:
Watershed priorities identified through the TWA will be re-evaluated by the Illinois EPA on an annual basis. This annual review will incorporate any new monitoring information collected from the previous year to keep the watershed prioritization process current. Watershed priorities will be made available for public review and comment through the Bureau of Waters annual program hearing. Public comments can be provided orally or in written form during the formal hearing process or submitted in writing within 30 days of the hearing.
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