Sweet Water: Public information meeting, March 13, 2012, for the development of total maximum daily loads for the Milwaukee River Basin watersheds and the Milwaukee Harbor Estuary
2/28/2012

Contact: Jeff Martinka; martinka@swwtwater.org; 414-382-1766

The public in the Milwaukee River Basin is invited to participate in a public information meeting as part of the process for developing four regional TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) studies for the Kinnickinnic, Menomonee, and Milwaukee River watersheds and the Milwaukee Harbor Estuary.

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) will lead the effort. MMSD received Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding from the U.S. EPA to complete the third party Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) analyses on the four water bodies in the Milwaukee River Basin. TMDLs will establish the maximum amounts of specific pollutants that can be received by a river or water body and still meet water quality standards.

The TMDL analyses will be conducted by the consulting firm CDM Smith under contract with MMSD, submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) for review and then submitted to EPA for final approval. Steve Heinz, of MMSD, commented, “Public and stakeholder input is important to the success of this project. The results of these studies will be critical for water quality in the region.”

The public information meeting will be held on March 13, 2012, from 6:00pm-8:00pm, in the Firefly Room at the Wauwatosa Public Library located at 7635 W North Ave, Wauwatosa.

Questions about the upcoming TMDL public information meetings should be directed to Jeff Martinka at Sweet Water, the Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, Inc., at 414-382-1766 or via martinka@swwtwater.org. Specific TMDL project questions should be directed to Steve Heinz at MMSD at 414-225-2086 or via sheinz@mmsd.com.

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Sweet Water, the Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, Inc., is a nonprofit organization created in 2008 as a partnership of local governments, nonprofit organizations, businesses, academia, and individuals working collectively to improve the water resources in the 1,100 square miles of the Greater Milwaukee Watersheds.

For more information on Sweet Water, visit http://www.swwtwater.org or contact Jeff Martinka, Executive Director, at 414-382-1766 or by email at martinka@swwtwater.org.

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Background: Milwaukee River Basin Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)

The TMDL initiative, led by MMSD, will focus on the Kinnickinnic, Menomonee and Milwaukee Rivers and the Milwaukee Harbor Estuary. The pollutants to be examined in this work are fecal coliform bacteria, phosphorus, and sediments (total suspended solids/TSS). The TMDL analysis will focus on the waterbody reaches that are included in the State’s 303(d) Impaired Waters List. As part of the effort, the projects will also address the EPA’s Milwaukee Harbor Estuary Area of Concern.

In May 2011, MMSD selected the engineering firm CDM Smith as its lead consultant for all four TMDLs. CDM Smith has extensive national experience in TMDL work, including efforts on behalf of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) for the recently completed Rock River TMDL. CDM Smith began initial work on the Milwaukee River Basin TMDLs in June 2011.

MMSD has also contracted with the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission as technical consultants on the four efforts. Planning Commission staff will ensure that the TMDLs are consistent with the Water Quality Initiative (the 2007 SEWRPC regional water quality management plan update for the greater Milwaukee watersheds and the MMSD 2020 Facilities Plan) and with the existing MMSD/Sweet Water Watershed Restoration Plans for the Kinnickinnic and Menomonee Rivers. Sweet Water, Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, Inc., is providing MMSD with stakeholder involvement and public outreach support.

The four TMDL studies will be completed concurrently and are expected to be finished by December 2012, with TMDL implementation plans to be finalized by September 2013. Once completed, the TMDLs will be submitted by MMSD to the WDNR and then provided to the EPA for its review and approval.

The stakeholder process in developing the TMDLs is expected to include nine stakeholder workshops, which began in November 2011. Additional public information meetings will be offered over the course of the TMDL project.

Additional TMDL project information and ongoing updates will be found on the MMSD website at http://www.mmsd.com (please click on the Water Quality Research link on the MMSD home page for TMDL info).


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