Plan fully addresses the requirements
specified in Provision D.15.i of Order No. R8-2004-0021. The
intent of the Work Plan is to address issues related to groundwater
discharges of selenium and nitrogen in the Newport Bay watershed.
Plan was developed by a small team of independent scientists
working under the direction of the Nitrogen and Selenium Management
Program. The team consisted of Dr. Brock Bernstein, Dr. Sam
Luoma (USGS), and Dr. Michael Stenstrom (UCLA). The Work
was developed in 2005 and all tasks and projects must be completed
by December 20, 2009.
Because groundwater is an important source for both nitrogen
and selenium, there are efficiencies to be gained from monitoring
both constituents simultaneously. However, because their transport,
fate, and mode of impact differ, key aspects of the data analysis
and impact assessment for each constituent are dealt with separately.
Thus, the Work
Plan treats nitrogen and selenium together where
possible and describes separate and/or parallel tasks where
needed. The effort to implement the Work
Plan is complex and
extends over five years, so there likely will be key decision
points that cannot be completely specified in the Work
Specific tasks may need to be modified or deleted, or new tasks
may need to be added. The Work
Plan is therefore a starting
point and an overall framework within which adaptive adjustments
can be made as needed.
Plan contains six key tasks:
1. Complementary Monitoring Program - The goal of this task
is to expand current knowledge of both selenium and nitrogen
sources in the watershed. For selenium, monitoring and data
analysis is intended to expand current knowledge about both
the extent of selenium bioavailability in the watershed's ecosystems
and the potential for adverse effects from existing selenium
inputs. For nitrogen, monitoring and data analysis is intended
to improve knowledge of specific nitrogen sources and pathways,
including seasonal changes in nitrogen concentrations and loads,
and development of a more quantitative relationship between
algal growth and beneficial use impairment.
2. Develop and Evaluate BMPs and Treatment Technologies -- The
goal of this task is to evaluate and develop effective selenium
and nitrogen treatment approaches or methods, with an emphasis
on the use of pilot and demonstration projects.
3. Develop Offset, Trading, or Mitigation
Program -- The goal of this task is to determine the applicability
of an offset, trading or mitigation program as a potential means
to more efficiently allocate selenium and nitrogen treatment
costs and efforts among sources in the watershed. If feasible
mechanisms are identified, implementation details will be developed.
4. Evaluate Nutrient TMDL - Using monitoring
data generated from Task 1 and under the TMDL itself, the purpose
of this task is to assess whether: 1) the numeric TMDL targets
should be revised to reflect improved knowledge about the extent
and magnitude of impacts on beneficial uses in Newport Bay and
about the relationship between nitrogen levels and such impacts;
and 2) the load allocations should be adjusted to reflect improved
knowledge about the sources of nitrogen, particularly from groundwater.
5. Develop a Site Specific Objective for Selenium
(if necessary) -- The goal of this task is to define a procedure
for assessing the need for a SSO and to develop a SSO if in
fact one is needed for the Newport Bay watershed.
6. Management and Communication -- The
NSMP project is complex and lengthy, and includes a wide range
of technical tasks that must be completed in an evolving scientific
and regulatory environment, all while meeting the needs of a
large stakeholder community that may have different interests
and priorities. This task provides for data management and internal
project coordination as well as external stakeholder coordination