Sweet Water: First stakeholder workshop, November 14, for the development of total maximum daily loads for the Milwaukee River watersheds and the Milwaukee Estuary

Contact: Kate Morgan –

414-416-6509/[email protected]

Stakeholders in the Milwaukee River Basin have been invited to participate in a kickoff workshop, the first of nine, 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 Estuary.

Invitees include all municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4s), water quality permit holders in the watersheds and tributary to the estuary and other interested parties. Jeff Martinka, Executive Director for Sweet Water, stated, “We worked hard to bring key partners to this meeting. It’s only by collaborating together that we n succeed in this effort.” In addition to the nine stakeholder workshops, four public information meetings will be held over the course of two years.

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 under contract with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) for review and then submitted to EPA for final approval. Steve Heinz, Senior Project Manager at MMSD, commented, “MMSD is pleased to lead this important partnership. The results of these studies will be critical for water quality in the region.”

The kickoff stakeholder workshop will be held November 14, from 9:30am to noon, in the Firefly Room at the Wauwatosa Public Library located at 7635 W North Ave, Wauwatosa. The agenda for the workshop can be found on Sweet Water’s website at http://www.swwtwater.org.

Questions about the upcoming TMDL stakeholder and public information meetings should be directed to Jeff Martinka at Sweet Water, the Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, Inc., at 414-382-1766 or via [email protected]. Specific TMDL project questions should be directed to Steve Heinz at MMSD at 414-225-2086 or via [email protected].

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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 [email protected].

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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 River estuary. The pollutants to be examined in this work are fecal coliform bacteria, phosphorus, and sediments (total suspended solids/TSS). The Milwaukee River TMDL will focus on the reaches of that river 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 Estuary Area of Concern.

In May, MMSD selected the engineering firm CDM as its lead consultant for all four TMDLs. CDM 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 began initial work on the Milwaukee area TMDLs in June.

MMSD has also contracted with the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission as technical consultants on the four efforts. Planning Commission staff will insure 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 the TMDL implementation plans to be finalized by September 2013. Once completed by CDM, 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, beginning on November 14, 2011. In addition, four public information meetings, beginning with January 2012, will be offered over the course of the TMDL project.

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