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Boulder Elkhorn TMDL Planning Area

Page history last edited by Pamela Arroues 2 months ago Saved with comment

Boulder-Elkhorn TMDL Planning Area home

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Page Contents 



 

Project Overview

Map 1: Streams Included in the Boulder-Elkhorn TMDL Project

Streams included in the Boulder-Elkhorn TMDL ProjectThe Boulder-Elkhorn TMDL Planning Area (TPA) is completely contained within Jefferson County and includes the towns of Basin, Boulder, and Elkhorn, and the Elk Park area. It encompasses the entire Boulder River watershed from its headwaters to the confluence with the Jefferson River at Cardwell. The TPA coincides with the 1002006 fourth-code hydrologic unit code (HUC), and is bounded by the continental divide on the west, the Elkhorn Mountains to the north, and Bull Mountain to the southwest. "Elkhorn" is included in the TPA name to differentiate between the Boulder River watershed near Big Timber, MT.

 

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality identified 14 streams in the Boulder River watershed with nutrients, metals, sediment, and/or temperature water quality impairments (Map 1). The TMDL planning process for this project incorporated a combination of water quality sampling and hydrologic modeling to further identify and quantify nutrient, metal, sediment, and temperature contributions from all significant sources. DEQ performed updated water quality assessments in 2012 and 2013 and TMDLs were written for all waterbodies determined to be impaired (Table 1).

 

For detailed information on each stream's probable impairment causes and sources, see DEQ's Clean Water Act Information Center. (Click on "Search," choose the "By Location" tab, and then select "Boulder-Elkhorn" in the TMDL Planning Area (TPA) drop-down list.) Updated water quality assessment information will not be reflected in the online database until the 2014 Water Quality Integrated Report is published.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1: Streams Included in this Project & TMDLs Written

 

Waterbody & Location Description

Metal

TMDL(s) 1

Nutrient

TMDL(s) 1

Sediment TMDL

Temperature TMDL

Basin Creek

headwaters to mouth (Boulder River)

X

 

X

 

Big Limber Gulch

headwaters to mouth (Cataract Creek – Boulder River)

Big Limber Gulch was sampled for metals during this project, but no TMDLs were written

Bison Creek

headwaters to mouth (Boulder River)

X

X

X

 

Boulder River

headwaters to Basin Creek

X

 

 

 

Boulder River

Basin Creek to the Town of Boulder

X

 

 

 

Boulder River

Town of Boulder to Cottonwood Creek

X

 

X

X

Boulder River

Cottonwood Creek to mouth (Jefferson Slough)

X

 

X

X

Cataract Creek

headwaters to mouth (Boulder River)

X

 

X

 

Elkhorn Creek

headwaters to Wood Gulch

X

 

X

 

Elkhorn Creek

Wood Gulch to mouth (Unnamed canal/ditch)

X

 

X

 

High Ore Creek

headwaters to mouth (Boulder River)

X

 

X

X

Jack Creek

headwaters to mouth (Basin Creek)

X

 

 

 

Little Boulder River

headwaters to mouth (Boulder River)

X

 

 

 

Lowland Creek

headwaters to mouth (Boulder River)

X

 

 

 

McCarty Creek

headwaters to mouth (Boulder River)

 

X

X

 

Muskrat Creek

headwaters to mouth (Boulder River)

X

 

X

 

North Fork Little Boulder River

Headwaters to mouth (Little Boulder River)

X

 

X

 

Nursery Creek

headwaters (east branch) to mouth (Muskrat Creek)

 

X

X

 

Uncle Sam Gulch

headwaters to mouth (Cataract Creek)

X

X

X

 

1. Specific metals and nutrients TMDLs are not identified in this table. See Table DS-1 in the respective TMDL document for a list of the specific TMDLs written (see "TMDL Documents" section below).

 


 

Nutrient, Metal, Sediment, and Temperature Monitoring Data and Reports

To better assess the above listed impairments and to help determine sources of these impairments, multiple rounds of nutrients and metals sampling was conducted in the watershed, along with sediment and temperature monitoring. Water quality sampling for both nutrients and metals was conducted in 2009 and 2010, with additional sampling of five sites in 2011. Sediment and streambank erosion assessments were performed in 2010 on the Boulder River and several of its tributaries. Temperature and shade data was collected over the summer of 2010 for the Boulder River. Sampling and analysis plans, data, and resulting source assessment reports are posted on the Boulder Elkhorn Documents page. Sampling plans show all sampling locations and the parameters collected at those locations. Photos of some of the metals and nutrients sampling locations can be seen on the Boulder Elkhorn Photos page.

 

 


 

TMDL Documents 

TMDLs for this project were published in two separate documents. Metals TMDLs are contained in one document and were approved by EPA on December 20, 2012. Nutrients, sediment, and temperature TMDLs were published in a separate document that was approved by EPA on September 9, 2013. Copies of both documents are available on DEQ's Final TMDL Documents webpage and also at the Helena, Boulder, and Butte public libraries.

 

Metals TMDLs

The final "Boulder-Elkhorn Metals TMDLs and Framework Water Quality Improvement Plan" can be found on our Final TMDL Documents webpage under the "Upper Missouri" tab. A public meeting to review the document and answer questions was held Monday, November 26, 2012 at City Hall in Boulder. A copy of the presentation given at this meeting can be found on the Project Outreach page.

 

Nutrients, Sediment, & Temperature TMDLs

 The final "Sediment, Nutrients, and Temperature TMDLs and Water Quality Improvement Plans for the Boulder-Elkhorn Planning Area" document was approved by the U.S. EPA in September of 2013 and is available on DEQ's Final TMDL Documents webpage under the "Upper Missouri" tab. Sections 8, 9, and 10 of the document include recommended land management activities that may improve water quality in the Boulder River watershed, and a monitoring strategy to evaluate progress toward attainment of water quality standards. For information on possible funding to implement water quality improvement projects, or for technical help, see DEQ's Nonpoint Source Program webpage or contact Ann McCauley at amccauley@mt.gov, 406-444-9897, or Robert Ray at rray@mt.gov or 406-444-5319.

 

A public meeting to review and discuss the document was held Thursday, June 27 at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Boulder. The presentation given at the meeting can be found on the Project Outreach page. Comments were received on the draft document during the public comment period and responses to comments are contained in Section 11.0 of the document.

 


 

Project Contacts 

 

Role

Contact

Email

Phone

Project Coordinator

Christina Staten

cstaten@mt.gov 

(406) 444-2836

Project Manager for Metals TMDLs 1

Dean Yashan 1

dyashan@mt.gov 

(406) 444-5317

Project Manager for Nutrients TMDLs

Lou Volpe

lvolpe@mt.gov  

(406) 444-6742

Project Manager for Sediment & Temperature TMDLs

Dean Yashan 2

dyashan@mt.gov  

(406) 444-5317

DEQ Nonpoint Source Program

Contact for information & assistance on implementing water quality improvement projects

Ann McCauley

 

Robert Ray

amccauley@mt.gov

 

rray@mt.gov 

(406) 444-9897

 

(406) 444-5319

Jefferson Valley Conservation District

 USDA Building, Whitehall, MT

Kris Hugulet 

jvmh57@questoffice.net

(406) 287-7875

1. Tim Byron was the metals project manager; he retired from DEQ in November of 2012. Dean is the DEQ TMDL section supervisor.

2. Jim Bond was the sediment and temperature project manager. Jim as left DEQ; Dean is the TMDL section supervisor.

 

 


Page Released: August 27, 2009

Last Updated: December 31, 2013