Draft Newport Bay Copper TMDL
The Regional Water Quality Control Board is considering a regulatory order – known as a Total Maximum Daily Load, or TMDL – that would require responsible parties to reduce copper in Newport Harbor by 83% from boat hulls within 15 years. The major source of copper to Newport Bay is believed to be from copper anti-fouling paints (AFP); therefore responsible parties include marina owner/operators, individual recreational boat owners, boat yards, as well as the City of Newport Beach and County of Orange and even the State Lands Commission. The Regional Water Quality Control Board has proposed an implementation plan, called the Copper Anti-Fouling Paint (AFP) Reduction Program, to reduce copper in the water column. The Regional Board has released the Draft Newport Bay Copper TMDL for public comment. The City is providing the following information on the draft Newport Bay Copper TMDL:
The Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board is holding a public hearing to consider the adoption of the draft Copper TMDL. The City encourages boaters, residents and interested parties to attend. The hearing will be held at the following time and location:
DATE: October 28, 2016
TIME: 9:00 a.m.
LOCATION: Irvine Ranch Water District
15600 Sand Canyon Avenue
In addition to attending the hearing, the City encourages boaters, residents and interested parties to submit comments to the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board. All comments must be submitted before or at 9:00 a.m. on October 17, 2016, to Linda Candelaria, PhD at RB8-CuTMDL@Waterboards.ca.gov or (951) 782-4991, or to the Regional Board office address listed above.
For the City’s written response to the proposed copper TMDL click on the links below.
Revised Federal Standard Proposed For Copper in Marine Waters Information
Concurrent with the Draft Newport Bay Copper TMDL, the Environmental Protection Agency is updating its national recommended ambient water quality criteria for copper in estuarine/marine environments. EPA's water quality criteria provides recommendations to states and tribes authorized to establish water quality standards under the Clean Water Act. The updated water quality criteria uses the Biotic Ligand Model which allows the criteria to vary with changes in water quality parameters (i.e., temperature, salinity, dissolved organic carbon and pH). The City is providing the following information on the Revised Federal Standard Proposed for Copper in Marine Waters Information:
The Environmental Protection Agency is currently accepting comments on the revised federal standard proposed for copper in marine waters. Comments are being accepted through September 27, 2016, and can be submitted directly on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website. The City encourages boaters, residents and interested parties to submit comments, and the City is providing the following text supporting the City’s position:
The 2016 revised Draft Criteria are associated with a large degree of uncertainty and potential error because they were derived based on a single abalone toxicity test and assumed (but not measured) water chemistry values including those for dissolved organic carbon. For many California Bays and Harbors, the proposed acute criterion will be less than what the State of California considers to be background seawater concentrations for copper (California Ocean Plan) because of the low dissolved organic carbon present in these areas. In particular, we believe the Draft Criteria will be most difficult for enclosed bays and harbors, where circulation with ocean water is limited, and in arid regions where naturally low DOC occurs, like Southern California. Prior to the adoption of the Draft Criteria, it is recommended that uncertainties in the criteria derivation be addressed to make the criteria more scientifically defendable but without unfounded conservativeness. Our recommendations are as follows:
Additional abalone toxicity test data (and associated water quality data) should be collected to provide a more robust and defensible data set from which the criteria can be derived. This is a reasonable request as the red abalone is a species approved by EPA for use in marine/estuarine toxicity tests and is commonly used for such purposes. Alternatively, the criteria should be revised such that they are derived using validated data from numerous toxicity tests with other sensitive and relevant marine species (i.e., Blue mussels).
If the Biotic Ligand Model is used in the derivation, the Draft Criteria should only be derived using measured and not assumed water chemistry data (i.e., dissolved organic carbon) and the normalization to standard water chemistry conditions (using the Biotic Ligand Model) should be based on toxicity tests with U.S. species paired with synoptically collected water chemistry data.