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Lower Gallatin TMDL Planning Area

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LINK TO DRAFT TMDL DOCUMENT

LOWER GALLATIN TMDL PLANNING AREA home

NUTRIENTS     SEDIMENT     E.COLI      OUTREACH 

 

The Lower Gallatin TMDL Planning Area

 

BACKGROUND

Congress passed the Water Pollution Control Act, more commonly known as the Clean Water Act, in 1972. The goal of this act is to “restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters.” The Clean Water Act requires each state to set water quality standards to protect designated beneficial water uses and to monitor the attainment of those uses. Fish and aquatic life, wildlife, recreation, agriculture, industrial, and drinking water are all types of beneficial uses designated in Montana. Streams and lakes not meeting the established water quality standards are called impaired waterbodies. Impaired waterbodies and their associated impairment causes are identified within a biennial water quality integrated report developed by DEQ. Both Montana state law (Section 75-5-701 of the Montana Water Quality Act) and section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act require the development of total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for impaired waters where a measurable pollutant (for example, sediment, nutrients, metals, etc.) is the cause of the impairment. A TMDL refers to the maximum amount of a pollutant a stream or lake can receive and still meet water quality standards.

 

The development of TMDLs in Montana includes several steps that must be completed for each impaired waterbody and for each contributing pollutant (or “pollutant-waterbody combination”). These steps include:

  • Characterizing the existing waterbody conditions and comparing these conditions to water quality standards. During this step, measurable target values are set to help evaluate the stream’s condition in relation to the applicable water quality standards.
  • Quantifying the magnitude of pollutant contribution from the pollutant sources
  • Determining the TMDL for each pollutant, based on the allowable loading limits (or loading capacity) for each pollutant-waterbody combination.
  • Allocating the total allowable pollutant load (TMDL) into individual loads for each source (referred to as the load allocations and/or waste load allocations).

 

A TMDL document was published for this project in 2013 that includes information from each of these four steps. The document also includes recommended land management activities for improving water quality in this project area, and a monitoring strategy to evaluate progress toward attainment of water quality standards (see Sections 9 and 10 of the document). The "Lower Gallatin Planning Area TMDLs & Framework Water Quality Improvement Plan" can be found on DEQ's Final TMDL Documents webpage under the Upper Missouri tab. See DEQ's Nonpoint Source Program webpage for additional information about recommended water quality improvement practices and for possible funding to implement water quality improvement projects.

 

TMDL developmenent occurs within many different TMDL project areas in the state. For full information about the DEQ TMDL program, including an overview of the TMDL process, contacts, public comment & public meeting information, and final TMDL documents, please see the DEQ TMDL Web Page.  Understanding TMDLs Pamphlet (0.5 MB) also provides information on how TMDLs are developed in Montana. 

 

 


 

   

OVERVIEW

The Lower Gallatin TMDL Planning Area (LGTPA) encompasses approximately 996 square miles (637,570 acres) in Southwestern Montana, and includes streams within the West Gallatin River and East Gallatin River watersheds.  The cities of Bozeman and Belgrade are located near the center of the planning area.   

 

Map 1.1  Lower Gallatin TPA

 

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality identified 14 streams with water quality pollutant impairments in the LGTPA. Impairments include nutrients, e.coli/fecal coliform, and sediment. The TMDL planning process for this planning area incorporated a combination of water quality sampling and hydrologic modeling to further evaluate exisitng impairment listings and to identify and quantify pollutant contributions from pollutant sources contributing to water quality problems. 

 

This site is intended to provide information on TMDL development in the Lower Gallatin TMDL Planning Area and is organized into Technical Pages and Outreach Pages. Technical Pages provide information in the form of maps, technical assessments, planning documents, raw water quality data, data reports, photos, and other resources or products generated in support of TMDL development. Outreach Pages provide information on advisory group involvement, items for comment and review, and applicable meetings and dates.  

 

Map 1.1 shows the Lower Gallatin TMDL Planning Area. Table 1.1 below identifies which streams have nutrients, e.coli/fecal coliform, and/or sediment listed impairments as identified on Montana's 2010 list of impaired waterbodies. See also the Montana's Clean Water Act Information Center to query the most up-to-date information on impaired waterbodies. TMDLs for nutrients, e.coli, and sediment in the LGTPA were completed in 2013.

 

The "Lower Gallatin Planning Area TMDLs & Framework Water Quality Improvement Plan" can be found on DEQ's Final TMDL Documents webpage in list of Upper Missouri River Basin documents. 

 

 

 Table 1.1:  Pollutant-impaired Streams in the Lower Gallatin TMDL Planning Area

* This table does not reflect current waterbody impairments and is not a list of the TMDLs that were written for this project. See the Lower Gallatin TMDL document for a list of the TMDLs written.

Water Body

Pollutant Impairments (2010)

Waterbody

Pollutant Impairments (2010)

East Gallatin River 

Nitrogen (total)

Phosphorus (total)

pH

Jackson Creek 

Phosphorus (total)

Sedimentation/Siltation

Sourdough (Bozeman) Creek (lower)

Phosphorus (total)

Total Kjehldahl Nitrogen (TKN)

Escherichia Coli

Sedimentation/Siltation

Smith Creek

Nitrates

Sedimentation/Siltation

Fecal Coliform

Bridger Creek

Phosphorus (total)

Total Kjehldahl Nitrogen

Thompson Spring Creek

Sedimentation/Siltation

Nitrogen (total)

Hyalite Creek (upper)

Phosphorus (total)

Total Kjehldahl Nitrogen

Reese Creek

Nitrates

Fecal Coliform

Solids (suspended/bedload)

Rocky Creek

Sedimentation/Siltation

Dry Creek

Nitrogen (total)

Phosphorus (total)

Sedimentation/Siltation

Bear Creek

Phosphorus (total)

Sedimentation/Siltation

Solids (suspended/bedload)

Camp Creek

Nitrogen (total)

Fecal Coliform

Sedimentation/Siltation

Stone Creek

Sedimentation/Siltation

Godfrey Creek 

Nitrogen (total)

Phosphorus (total)

Fecal Coliform

Sedimentation/Siltation

Table 1.1 does not reflect current waterbody impairments and is not a list of the TMDLs that were written for this project. See the Lower Gallatin TMDL document for a list of the TMDLs written. 

 


 

 

TECHNICAL PAGES

Technical pages contain information specifc to nutrient, e.coli and sediment assessments.  Here you will find technical information that includes: Sampling and Analysis Plans (SAPs), Quality Assurance (QA) documentation, water quality data, reports and photographs.  Information in these pages was collected specific to TMDL development and provided technical infomation in support of TMDL document preparation.

 

Technical pages are divided into:

 

 


 

 

OUTREACH PAGES

Outreach pages include information on public and stakeholder outreach.  Here you will find information that includes:  TMDL public invovlement strategy, TMDL advisory groups, documents, meetings, presentations, and announcements.

 

 


 

 

TMDL DOCUMENT PAGE

A draft version of the TMDL document was posted on the TMDL Document page for stakeholder review, however the draft document is no longer available on this page. 

 

Sediment, nutrient, and E. coli TMDLs were completed for this project in 2013. The "Lower Gallatin Planning Area TMDLs & Framework Water Quality Improvement Plan" can be found on DEQ's Final TMDL Documents webpage in list of Upper Missouri River Basin documents. 


 

 

CONTACT INFORMATION  

Project Coordinator

Nutrient & E.coli Project Manager

Christian Schmidt, DEQ

406-444-6777

cschmidt2@mt.gov

Sediment Project Manager

Lisa Kusnierz, EPA

406-457-5001

kusnierz.lisa@epa.gov

Greater Gallatin Watershed Council (GGWC), Coordinator

Sierra Harris, GGWC

406-551-0804

sharris@spottedbearconsulting.com

DEQ Nonpoint Source Program

Contact for information & assistance on implementing water quality improvement projects

Robert Ray, DEQ

406-444-5319 

rray@mt.gov

 

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