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Thread: Kenai listed as impaired for turbidity

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    Default Kenai listed as impaired for turbidity

    Check out DEC web page. Kenai River finally listed as impaired waters for turbidity in lower river ( about 8 miles).

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    Little Susitna also listed for turbidity

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    What is the time frame in which the data was collected? I haven't seen the bouys that they were using to collect data for a while.

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    What does that mean to the rest of us?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chez View Post
    What does that mean to the rest of us?
    It means the State will have to come up with an action plan and implement it to get back in compliance with the standards. Otherwise EPA could stop permitting projects in the State. I suspect this is easy to solve and does not mean drift boats only.

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    If it is the lower 8 miles that is impaired, I would guess the biggest changes would be coming to the dip net fishery. Maybe a little affect on the sportfishery as there is only a couple fishing areas in that lower 8 miles. That area is dominantly silt banks and subject to daily tides, as I have often fished that area, the water is unfishable on the mid to big tides and for hours after as the silt in the river after the "flush" really dirties the water. If I remember correctly, the standard used probably needs to be reviewed. I do find it interesting that this designation is happening now, I can't find a link to the announcement on the DEC website but I did hear that it was announced yesterday. I would like to take a look at the report and data, and see what dates they gathered data. I am sure at some point it will be available, it may already be, I just haven't found it yet.

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    http://dec.alaska.gov/water/wqsar/wa...heet-final.pdf


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    I have looked at the summary and the DEC report. I have read the standard. What I can't find is the raw data, or any data tables. I would like to see what days, hours and for how long the turbidity standard was exceeded. It is difficult to make a intelligent comment to the DEC without more information. I am not an expert in water quality, but do have a background in the field. There seems to be a lot of holes in a very vague regulation. I am by no means saying there isn't an issue, but the regulation is pretty vague and the impacts on fish are not clear. More information would be helpful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    I have looked at the summary and the DEC report. I have read the standard. What I can't find is the raw data, or any data tables. I would like to see what days, hours and for how long the turbidity standard was exceeded. It is difficult to make a intelligent comment to the DEC without more information. I am not an expert in water quality, but do have a background in the field. There seems to be a lot of holes in a very vague regulation. I am by no means saying there isn't an issue, but the regulation is pretty vague and the impacts on fish are not clear. More information would be helpful.
    Yukon. The data was collected a few years back by the Kenai Watershed Forum for DEC. Debate over standards and data went on for a long time. No holes were found but political bs kept State from listing. However EPA finally had enough of State bs and put pressure on - maybe by holding up permits in other parts of state. Anyway it is time to find a solution. I think the area is mile 5 to 12.5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Yukon. The data was collected a few years back by the Kenai Watershed Forum for DEC. Debate over standards and data went on for a long time. No holes were found but political bs kept State from listing. However EPA finally had enough of State bs and put pressure on - maybe by holding up permits in other parts of state. Anyway it is time to find a solution. I think the area is mile 5 to 12.5

    Yes, Nerka, I remember the data collection, it ended in 2010 according to the DEC report. The standard is vague, especially when it comes to affect on salmon. There are lots of questions to be asked when it comes to turbidity and its affect on juvenile salmon. Not to mention why mile 5, I understand that data was not collected below mile 5. But does the turbidity issue not affect the last 5 miles? Again, it is fair to ask questions and have a discussion about the standard and the effects. Again, I would like to see a report of the original data, if you or any one has a link, that would be great. I have read the DEC reports. I know there is another report by the KWF, I have seen parts of it in the past. I will keep looking as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    Yes, Nerka, I remember the data collection, it ended in 2010 according to the DEC report. The standard is vague, especially when it comes to affect on salmon. There are lots of questions to be asked when it comes to turbidity and its affect on juvenile salmon. Not to mention why mile 5, I understand that data was not collected below mile 5. But does the turbidity issue not affect the last 5 miles? Again, it is fair to ask questions and have a discussion about the standard and the effects. Again, I would like to see a report of the original data, if you or any one has a link, that would be great. I have read the DEC reports. I know there is another report by the KWF, I have seen parts of it in the past. I will keep looking as well.
    yukon. Wrong way to challenge impacts on Salmon. Standards are set for more than fish. However what is wrong with your question is that it put burden of proof on agencies. In contrast NEPA put burden to show no harm on user. That is a fundamental problem in Alaska in trying to protect habitat. The only question now is whether the standards are violated and they are by KWF, DEC, and EPA scientist.

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    Google “Kenai Watershed Turbidity Report”. Several studies pop up, as well as several articles. I think this is one of the main reports. http://dec.alaska.gov/water/wqsar/pd...iver-final.pdf


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    Can nature exceed the turbidity standards, or is it only exceeded by human influences?

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    Thanks smithtb. I will take a look at it.

    Nerka,
    i think it is fair to discuss the validity of the standard. I don't doubt the data set, as i talked today with someone who collected it, we had a really good conversation on the topic and I appreciate the time. What constitutes a violation of the standard? I could not find that information in the DEC water quality standards. Is it 1 violation for any amount of time or something different? If the agency set the standard then yes, the burden should be on them to show harm. This not a drinking water issue, it is a salmon and habitat issue, primarily a salmon issue, it would be silly to think it isn't about the fish, I have no issue with that. If it isn't a salmon issue then what is the issue? That makes the standard even more arbitrary. The standard is a set amount over background levels, as you know, i am looking for the harm created by going over by the set amount. The river frequently goes way over background levels in June with the Killey blows out for a week or two every june, once in a while in July. I would guess that it goes over more than high tides and boat wakes. I will check the data in the report that smithtb linked to as I haven't looked at it yet but assume it is the data I remember seeing where it showed locations, times, and amounts of violation. It would be wrong to not look at the data set for myself to draw conclusions. Right now, i am asking questions, please don't take that as if I am drawing conclusions. I have issues with the standard, and I want to look at the history of the standard and yes, see how it applies to salmon, right or wrong, that is what the discussion in the Kenai will revolve around, and I think that is a good thing. My question is, how does the violation affect the salmon, and i am willing to do the research, because it is important to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    Thanks smithtb. I will take a look at it.

    Nerka,
    i think it is fair to discuss the validity of the standard. I don't doubt the data set, as i talked today with someone who collected it, we had a really good conversation on the topic and I appreciate the time. What constitutes a violation of the standard? I could not find that information in the DEC water quality standards. Is it 1 violation for any amount of time or something different? If the agency set the standard then yes, the burden should be on them to show harm. This not a drinking water issue, it is a salmon and habitat issue, primarily a salmon issue, it would be silly to think it isn't about the fish, I have no issue with that. If it isn't a salmon issue then what is the issue? That makes the standard even more arbitrary. The standard is a set amount over background levels, as you know, i am looking for the harm created by going over by the set amount. The river frequently goes way over background levels in June with the Killey blows out for a week or two every june, once in a while in July. I would guess that it goes over more than high tides and boat wakes. I will check the data in the report that smithtb linked to as I haven't looked at it yet but assume it is the data I remember seeing where it showed locations, times, and amounts of violation. It would be wrong to not look at the data set for myself to draw conclusions. Right now, i am asking questions, please don't take that as if I am drawing conclusions. I have issues with the standard, and I want to look at the history of the standard and yes, see how it applies to salmon, right or wrong, that is what the discussion in the Kenai will revolve around, and I think that is a good thing. My question is, how does the violation affect the salmon, and i am willing to do the research, because it is important to me.
    Yukon the debate is not about the standard. You would have to understand the algorithms to determine violations. The background levels include natural events and duration. Trying to say natural events are the same as human caused is not the correct way to look at it. It is very complicated and I wish you good luck but it is time for solutions to correct this boat induced pollution

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Yukon the debate is not about the standard. You would have to understand the algorithms to determine violations. The background levels include natural events and duration. Trying to say natural events are the same as human caused is not the correct way to look at it. It is very complicated and I wish you good luck but it is time for solutions to correct this boat induced pollution
    No fancy algorithms in the standard on the DEC page, just a set amount over background levels. My question is still valid, is it pollution just because a policy says it is. Pollution would be harm to something. I want to find out what that harm is. One or two standards for all freshwater (moving or lake) may not be the right approach. Scientifically, i would think it is not right just to take the government standard for granted. Nothing wrong with taking a look at it and seeing if it right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    Can nature exceed the turbidity standards, or is it only exceeded by human influences?
    Of course. Natural conditions can affect inriver productivity and fry survival.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    No fancy algorithms in the standard on the DEC page, just a set amount over background levels. My question is still valid, is it pollution just because a policy says it is. Pollution would be harm to something. I want to find out what that harm is. One or two standards for all freshwater (moving or lake) may not be the right approach. Scientifically, i would think it is not right just to take the government standard for granted. Nothing wrong with taking a look at it and seeing if it right.
    Look up impacts of turbidity on Salmon. Denny Lloyd did a review for Alaska

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    Yukon the algorithm has to do with what is normal and violation percentage. Call Robert Ruffner he knows this stuff. I am not knowledgeable on the exact methodology.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Yukon the algorithm has to do with what is normal and violation percentage. Call Robert Ruffner he knows this stuff. I am not knowledgeable on the exact methodology.
    Thanks Nerka, I have been and am currently in contact with Robert, he has been very helpful and obviously knowledgeable on this issue. I have read the KWF report, as well as the 1985 Lloyd paper. I am going to read through them again, along with other studies.

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