Advisory Committee Meeting September 14, 1998

Source Water Assessment Program
Advisory Committee Meeting Agenda
September 14, 1998   1:00 PM
DEQ, Maynard Ketcham Bldg., Rm. 326

  • Welcome & Introductions
  • Discussion of comments received after last meeting (if any)
  • Public Workshops
  • Making the Assessments Available to the public
    • Maps showing delineated areas
    • Descriptions of potential sources of contamination identified
    • Susceptibility determination
    • Time table for release of information
  • Program Implementation
    • Timeline proposed by the State for completion of SWAP
    • Request for the 18 month extension
  • Prioritization of Water Systems
    • Most vulnerable ground water systems completed first based on depth of wells
    • Surface water vulnerability study
      • Delegation to EPA Region 6 Source Water Protection Branch
      • Completed prior to field ground truthing
    • Coordination with other states
    • Reporting progress to LDHH and EPA
  • Wrap up ? Questions/Comments


    SEPTEMBER 14, 1998

    Howard Fielding welcomed all members to the meeting. Guests were introduced.

    Review of Susceptibility Analysis, Public Workshops ? Don Haydel, DEQ

    Based on comments received at the last meeting, we revised the PSOC values within 1000' of a well. The new 6 tiered system gives a range of values that increase as the PSOC is located closer to the well. Another change based on suggestions from the last meeting is to divide the total susceptibility scores by the unit area of the source water protection area to eliminate the bias for large systems.

    Public Participation Workshops will be held in the following cities:

    • Alexandria ? to be scheduled
    • Baton Rouge ? to be scheduled in November
    • Lafayette ? to be scheduled
    • Lake Charles ? to be scheduled
    • Monroe ? October 22; rescheduled from October 15 due to a conflict with an EPA presentation being made at the same time
    • New Orleans ? to be scheduled
    • Shreveport ? to be scheduled in November

    The League of Women Voters will arrange meeting places and times for workshops, and mail invitations to the target audience and interested stakeholders. They will also be responsible for local advertising and providing facilitators for focus groups.

    Discussions will be held concerning the source water(s) for that particular area's public drinking water supplies. Break-out groups will discuss and make recommendations on delineation, assessment, susceptibility analysis and dissemination of results to the general public and will report to the reconvened workshop.

    A responsiveness summary will be included in the program submittal illustrating how significant public comments and opinions were incorporated into the final document.

    Making the Assessments Available to the Public - Howard Fielding, DEQ

    Maps will be generated in the GIS showing locations of potential sources of contamination, intakes, public supply wells and delineated area. The maps will then be displayed on the Internet via the DEQ homepage. Maps will also be available through local water systems, and the public will be informed through the annual Utility Consumer Confidence Reports.

    The delineated area in the watershed will be determined by DEQ regional staff, many of whom live and work in the area. The potential sources of contamination and the intake will be shown on a map. The significant PSOCs will be ranked by risk as high, medium or low. A susceptibility analysis will be done with an initial high, medium, or low ranking.

    When all inventories are completed, a comparative analysis will be conducted. The susceptibility numbers will be used for each system, and based on the spread of the numbers, will be put into risk categories.

    Program Implementation ? Howard Fielding, DEQ

    The program is scheduled to be submitted to EPA in February, 1999. At that time prioritization and delineation will begin. GIS maps will be prepared and field personnel will begin training.

    Assessment field work and GIS maps will be posted quarterly on the Internet.

    The GIS lab will do final susceptibility calculations for statewide comparative analysis once all systems are completed. All information will be posted on the Internet after program completion in July, 2002.

    Maximum efficiency will be needed to complete the program on time. In consideration of the number of systems to be assessed, 5 to 6 systems per person/month will have to be completed.

    Prioritization of Water Systems - Howard Fielding

    EPA Region 6 will conduct a surface water drinking water source vulnerability study using our watershed basin definition and a larger scale. For focus purposes, EPA will use a ½ mile setback from surface water bodies and study an extent 5 miles upstream from intakes.

    Databases from numerous state and federal agencies have been or will be obtained for use in SWAP. We will coordinate with these agencies. EPA and DHH will be apprised of progress through quarterly reports.

    Water systems and communities will be responsible for update of assessments. DEQ will provide technical assistance when requested. Water systems will be updated on regulatory changes in the annual newsletter.

    League of Women Voters Status Report - Linda Walker

    A new publication, Strategies for Effective Public Involvement, published by the League of Women Voters Education Fund, was distributed to all present at the meeting. Copies are available from Linda Walker for interested parties not in attendance.

    The importance of citizen involvement in the SWAP was stressed during this presentation. One of the strongest reasons for expanding the public involvement at the design and planning stage is that it is a mutual education process. The citizens learn about what's involved in putting the program together. The state officials learn what the real issues are at the grassroots level.

    In addition to the public meetings scheduled, another committee meeting should be held in a month or two involving citizen representatives from all over the state. Representatives should be from groups as well as concerned citizens such as farmers, housewives, science teachers, etc. Industry and small business representatives should also be invited.

    A public outreach person is needed to market the SWAP program. This person could develop resources to involve citizens. There would be costs involved in pulling knowledgeable citizens into the planning process, such as educational

    materials, and moving meeting sites and times to reach citizens outside of a two hour drive from Baton Rouge. Another possible cost would be mileage for committee members, which may be paid out of EPA funds for this project.

    After obtaining a citizen presence on the committee a public outreach person could involve those citizens in planning the public information meetings. Another useful tool would be public announcements on the radio, local television programs, cable, etc.

    The EPA deadline is not realistic and EPA should be contacted in regard to an extension on the deadline.

    Surface Water Drinking Sources (Louisiana 1998 305(b) Water Quality Inventory Report), Al Hindrichs, DEQ

    Designated waterbody uses are set by Louisiana Administrative Code 33:IX.1123. Drinking water supply use applies to 35 subsegments on 32 waterbodies (see attached handout).

    The Water Quality Inventory Report is produced every two years as part of the Clean Water Act and provides assessments of 476 waterbody subsegments. Assessments are based on the Regional Coordinator's evaluation and monitoring data.

    DEQ is responsible for monitoring surface waters in terms of primary and secondary contact recreation, fish and wildlife propagation, natural resources, agriculture, and drinking water supply source. In terms of drinking water sources, treatment is assumed so water bodies showing any constituents that can be treated are designated as "fully supporting" their designated use as a water supply source.

    Monitoring data is assessed for fecal coliform densities and color. DEQ does not routinely test for organics. DHH is responsible for monitoring finished water. It was stated that lots of organics cause THM in finished water and EPA is concerned about THM and its health effects.1998 water quality results for drinking water sources show that 19 waterbodies are Fully Supporting DWS; 1 waterbody is Partially Supporting DWS (Bayou Black, failure was due to color); 15 waterbodies have Insufficient Data. At least 95 of the samples were non-detect for parameters monitored.

    Class V Injection Wells ? Doyle Johnson, DNR

    EPA is proposing to regulate three types of Class V injection wells in Source Water Protection Areas for community and non-transient non-community water systems that use ground water. They are large-capacity cesspools, industrial waste disposal wells and motor vehicle waste disposal wells. If states do not complete their SWAP by the extended deadline of May 2003 these requirements would apply statewide (refer to EPA Fact Sheet on Class V Injection Wells included in packet).

    EPA in Washington was contacted to get a definition on cesspools. At this point in time, it is not clear what the difference is between a cesspool and a large capacity septic system.

    A survey was conducted by DNR on motor vehicle waste disposal wells in 1992. Surveys were sent to 3851 facilities with USTs. No disposal wells were identified in this survey.

    September 14, 1998
    Questions and Answers/Comments Summary

    1. Will there be information presented to the citizens at the public meetings regarding the present quality of their source water?

    Water quality will not be addressed at the public meetings. This is outside the scope of the SWAP, which will deal with assessment. Information on water quality in the area can be requested from the Health Department or the local Water Department.

    2. How will areas be divided with regard to which public meeting citizens in certain areas should attend? How will the Morgan City/Houma area be handled? Will they have their own meeting?

    Another meeting will not be held in the Morgan City area, as time is extremely limited.

    Specific water systems will not be addressed in these meetings but rather our proposal for the statewide SWAP will be presented and public input will be asked for. Therefore, meetings are being held in the large population cities in order to get a large turnout. However, all input is welcome and citizens in that area are encouraged to attend one of the other meetings in New Orleans or Baton Rouge.

    3. Will all databases used in the SWAP be available on DEQ's web site?

    All data gathered by DEQ that is related to the other databases will be on our web site. Databases from other agencies cannot be put on our web site, as the data is not DEQ's data to distribute.

    4. Will the more detailed rating system for susceptibility increase the field work needed?

    The field work will remain the same, however it will mean more number crunching for the GIS lab. Once the program is written for the GIS, the additional GIS time for the number crunching is negligible.

    5. There have been pits found in the Kisatchie National Forest that show indications of leaking. Who regulates these?

    These are regulated by the Department of Natural Resources, Office of Conservation.

    6. How will specific reports of flagrant violations from citizens at the public meetings be handled?

    Information will be taken from the individuals and handled on a case by case basis. It will not be disclosed where the information was obtained.

    7. Were car dealerships included in the DNR survey?

    Car dealerships specifically were not surveyed, but anyone with USTs were surveyed. If a dealership has USTs they were surveyed.

    8. Suggestion: Trade groups should be invited to have representation at the public meetings.

    9. Suggestion: The State Library System should be used to make assessment information available to the public.


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