U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10 Bulletin - EPA 910/9-92-043
                                             August 199E
First-of-its-kind  Agreement Sets  Course
to  Keep  Puyallup River  Healthy
In an agreement believed to
be the first of its kind in the
country, more than 20
parties in  Pierce  County,
industry, Indian tribes,
citizen and environmental
groups,  local governments,
and state and federal envi-
ronmental agencies—have
set a course  that allows
future growth in  the Puy-
allup River watershed while
protecting water  quality.

The agreement was an-
nounced last month by three
of its major sponsors, the
Washington Department of
Ecology, the U.S. Environ-
mental Protection Agency,
and the Puyallup Indian

EPA regards the agreement
as a landmark in water
quality management. Ac-
cording  to Phil Millam,  EPA's
regional water director,  "The
agreement strikes a  balance
between growth in the
Puyallup watershed and the
need for a healthy river.  The
parties to the agreement
have individually committed
themselves to actions that
collectively will make sure
wastewater discharges won't
overload the Puyallup with
effluent  that would cause
violations of state water
quality standards."
"Almost as important as the
agreement itself is the pro-
cess by which it was
reached," said Bob Duffy of
Ecology's water quality pro-
gram.  "The groups that
produce pollution were asked
to devise their own plan —
state and federal agencies
did not tell them how to do

The agreement, over a year in
the making, focuses on
pollutants commonly dis-
charged by municipal sewage
treatment plants and indus-
tries:  ammonia and other
substances which create a
biochemical oxygen demand.
Ammonia can have a toxic
effect on fish and other
aquatic  wildlife.  Substances
that  place  a biochemical
oxygen  demand (BOD) on the
river deplete the water of
oxygen  needed to support

Although the  Puyallup River
currently meets state water
quality standards for dis-
solved oxygen and ammonia,
a 1994  Ecology water quality
study of the river identified
the potential for future  prob-
  In  This  Issue...
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communities around the Greater

Spotlight to showcase success stories
and environmental stars
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                             Tools to clue you in on resources,
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lems.  As a result, Ecology
set limits on the river's "re-
serve capacity" for handling
BOD and ammonia.  The
agreement sets forth a plan
allocating the reserve capac-
ity so it will never be ex-
hausted  and the river's
health will be protected well
into the future.

Participants in the agreement
represent a broad cross-
section of interests.  Cities
have a stake  because their
wastewater treatment plants'
discharges and runoff from
their streets affect the river.
Industries are involved due
the  large amounts of water
they discharge.  The
Puyallup Tribe of Indians
and the Muckleshoot Indian
Tribe were included because
of their land ownership and
their regard for protecting
natural resources.  Also, the
Puyallup Tribe has been
delegated federal CleanWater
Act  authority  to administer
water  quality standards in
the  Puyallup River within its

In addition to the Puyallups,
the  Muckleshoots, Ecology,
and EPA, the  parties to the
agreement are: Pierce
County,  City  of Bonney Lake,
Beatrice Cheese Company,
City of Buckley, Matsushita
Semiconductor, City of
Enumclaw, Sonoco Products,
City of Orting, Town of
Carbonado, City of Puyallup,
Town of South Prairie, City  of
Sumner, Town of Wilkeson,
City of Tacoma, Trout Unlim-
ited, Citizens for a Healthy
Bay, Washington Department
of Fish and Wildlife, Wash-
ington State  Department of
Social  and Health Services.

For  more information regard-
ing  the agreement, contact
Alan Henning, EPA, at 206/
553-8293 or 1-800-424-
4EPA X8293,  or E-Mail:
EPA  Seeks
Comment on  Clean
Water Program
On July 7, EPA published a
notice  in the FEDERAL
REGISTER seeking  public
comment on the future of
many aspects of the water
quality standards program.
The Advance Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking on
the Water Quality  Stan-
dards Regulation  requests
comment about possible
regulatory and policy
changes to strengthen and
modernize the water quality
standards regulation, includ-
ing facilitating watershed
approaches.  EPA will take
comments until January 4,
1999, and will hold  three
public meetings.  The first
meeting wilj  be held August
27 and 28 in Philadelphia.
Two  additional meetings,
specific locations yet unde-
termined, will be held in the
midwest and west  in late
September and October.  The
and information on the
public meetings are available
on the Internet at:  http://
anprm.html.   For more
information,  contact Rob
Wood at 202/260-9536.
Nutrient  Strategy
to Protect

One key goal of the
President's Clean Water
Action  Plan—a comprehen-
sive initiative to restore and
protect America's waters—is
development of water quality
criteria for the nutrients
nitrogen and phosphorus by
the year 2000.  Excess  nutri-
ents can degrade water
quality, reduce oxygen levels
with harmful  results for
aquatic life, and may contrib-
ute to microbial diseases
such as pfisteria.  In  June,
EPA released  a national
strategy that outlines the
approach for developing
numeric criteria for nutrients
and adopting nutrient provi-
sions of state water quality
standards (clean water
goals).  Under the strategy,
EPA will prepare nutrient
guidance documents for
waterbodies such  as rivers,
lakes, coastal waters, and
wetlands over the  next sev-
eral years.  States can use
these documents as they
develop numeric criteria for
nutrients as part of state
water quality standards. The
Nutrient Strategy is available
on  the Internet at: http://
www.epa.gov/OST. Or,  call
Mike Letourneau,  EPA,  at
206/553-1687 or  1-800-424-
4EPA X1687, or email
Clean Water
Documents Chart
Future Course

In June, EPA released the
Water Quality Criteria and
Standards Plan, which
presents a vision and strat-
egy for EPA, states, and
tribes to work together over
the next decade to improve
water quality standards.  The
Plan describes seven new
program initiatives  that EPA
will undertake in  the coming
years. It will be available
soon on the Internet at:
standards/quality.html or
contact Bill Swietlick at

On June 10, EPA released
the National Water Program
Agenda for 1998-1999.  The
                                       Page 2

Water Agenda presents how
the Clean Water Action Plan
and the new Safe Drinking
Water Act Amendments fit
into EPA's Office of Water's
broader planning  activities
for its goal to achieve clean
and safe water.  Over the
coming year, EPA  will finalize
a multi-year plan  that inte-
grates the steps needed to
implement the Clean Water
Action  Plan, the Safe Drink-
ing Water Act Amendments,
the Office of Water's tribal
strategy, and other long term
activities of the agency.
The National Water Program
Agenda can be found on the
Internet at: http://
  Clean Water
  Action Plan

  The President's Clean
  Water Action Plan,
  featured in the May 98
  issue of WaterTalk, repre-
  sents a comprehensive
  new initiative to restore
  and protect  our nation's
  waters. The plan
  emphasizes  collaborative
  strategies built around
  watersheds  and the
  communities they sus-
  tain.  Containing 111
  action items, the plan
  focuses on preventing
  polluted runoff, protect-
  ing human health  and
  habitat, improving federal
  coordination, supporting
  community  based  plan-
  ning, and increasing
  funding for clean  water.
  Free copies of the 89-
  page booklet are available
  from EPA's regional
  Public Environmental
  Resource  Center at
  1-800-424-4EPA or
National  Inventory
Takes Stock  of
America's Waters

EPA recently released its
1996 National Water Qual-
ity Inventory,  a  biennial
survey of the nation's water
quality.  Consistent with data
reported in the 1994 inven-
tory, 40  percent of the
nation's  surveyed waters
remain too polluted for swim-
ming, fishing, and other
recreational activities.   For
rivers and streams, runoff
from agricultural lands
remains  the largest sources
of pollution, affecting 25
percent of all surveyed river
miles. This latest report is
the result of surveys con-
ducted by states  in  1994 and
1995 of  19 percent  of the
nation's  river miles, 40 per-
cent of lake acres, and 72
percent of estuarine square

To view  material  related to
the inventory, visit EPA's
Office of Water website at
Here you will find a 12-page
summary entitled Report
Brochure: National Water
Quality Inventory 1996 Re-
port to Congress  (EPA 841-F-
97-003), a 197-page detailed
summary called  The Quality
of Our Nation's Water:  1996
(EPA 841-S-97-001), and
selected  chapters from the
588-page Report to Congress
(EPA 841-R-97-008).  Copies
are available from the Na-
tional Center for Environ-
mental Publications (NCEPI)
at 1-800-490-9198.  Please
refer to  publication numbers
shown in parentheses.  For
more information, call
George Doumani, EPA,  at
Cheney Wins
Waste water Award

Not content to rest  on its
intake pipes,  the City of
Cheney's Wastewater Treat-
ment and Reclamation
Plant has garnered top
regional honors from EPA for
excellence in  Operations and
Maintenance.  The  Cheney
plant demonstrated solid, all-
around facility management
to earn this year's award.

The Spokane  County facility
has a strong history of com-
pliance with their wastewater
discharge (NPDES)  permit.
The facility  has attained
superior effluent quality
through consistent  biosolids
management,  effective pro-
cess  control and monitoring,
and good collection system,
laboratory, and financial

According to Terry  Moan,
EPA regional Operations and
Maintenance  Coordinator,
Cheney handles 2.7 million
gallons of wastewater per
day.  "Between its innovative
control of dissolved oxygen
and going the extra mile to
remove organic pollutants,
nitrogen and  phosphorous,
this outfit is truly a  good
example of operation and
maintenance  excellence,"
said  Moan.  Another notable
attribute of this facility is a
discharge polishing regime
that  includes  a man-made

The Operation and  Mainte-
nance Awards program, a
self-nominating competition,
recognizes outstanding
operation of municipal sew-
age treatment facilities.
Congratulations to  Cheney
for a job well done!
                                        Page 3

For information about the
award program, including
guidelines and competition
categories, call the following
state officials:

Alaska:      Kerry Lindley,
Idaho:       Al Stanford,
Oregon:     Steve Desmond,
Washington: Carl Jones,
Ag, Water Quality
An  Unusual  Blend

Hundreds of farmers, envi-
ronmentalists, natural re-
source  managers,  regulators,
and citizens are expected to
attend a conference on pre-
serving agriculture and
protecting  Northwest water
guajity.  The Conference on
Agriculture and Water
Quality in the Pacific
Northwest: Understanding
Each Other and Working
Together for a Better Fu-
ture will take place October
20-21  at the Yakima Conven-
tion Center, Washington.
This unusual blend of par-
ticipants and topics is
designed to get generally
separate groups to come
together in a non-confronta-
tional setting to build coop-
eration and co-mingle per-
spectives.  Presentations will
focus on applied activities
rather than scientific or
academic studies.  The
conference is sponsored by a
coalition of farm associations
and government agencies,
including EPA.  For informa-
tion or a registration form,
contact Far West Fertilizer
and Agrichemical  Association
at 509/838-6653,  fax 509/
838-6685,  or email:
farwest@ior.com, or visit
the conference web
site at  http://

Join the fun!  Celebrate
Washington WaterWeeks,
which takes place this year
from August 29 through
October 4. This annual five-
week long series of events is
designed to help Washington
residents of all ages under-
stand and take action to
protect the state's water
resources and  shorelines.
The goal  of WaterWeeks is to
get residents involved in  fun
local activities  and connect
them with organizations  that
can help them  become year-
round stewards.  EPA is one
of many  sponsors of this
important program.  To
request an activity guide  that
lists events near you, and the
accompanying guide Hands
on for Healthy  Habitats!,  call
EPA's Public Environmental
Resource Center at 206/553-
1200 or  1-800-424-4EPA.
   For   more information on
        WaterWeeks, visit
        their web site at
        or call
                            Enviro Ed  Grant
                            Successes  Shared

                            A new resource is now avail-
                            able from EPA.  Called Great
                            Grants: Environmental
                            Education Success Stories
                            of EPA Region  10, this mini-
                            book showcases the regional
                            projects EPA has funded
                            under the National Environ-
                            mental Education  Act from
                            1992 through 1995.

                            It is  our hope that the book-
                            let will be used  to assist
                            potential grantees in  project
                            design, to help  reduce dupli-
                            cation of efforts, to give an
                            understanding of the breath
                            and  depth of EPA's regional
                            grant education program,
                            and  to provide educators
                            with ideas and  inspiration.
                                       Page 4
The format assists the reader
by using consistent topics.
For each grant there is a
description of the purpose
and goals, the education
methods used, the  results
and products  of the grant,
the challenges faced by
project organizers, and suc-
cess and strengths  in educa-
tional  and environmental
terms.  The reader may also
find the various indexes
useful in reviewing  specific

If you  would like to receive a
copy of this publication,
please call the Public Envi-
ronmental Resource Center
at 1-800-424-4372.  If you
have questions about the
publication, call Sally Hanft,
Region 10's Environmental
Education  Grant Coordina-
tor, at 206/553-1207 or
1-800-424-4EPA X1207.
Project XL:
Cleaner, Cheaper,

Attention companies, indus-
trial sectors, communities,
works, federal facilities, and
others!   EPA is calling for
more participation in Project
XL, a pilot program created
by President Clinton which
stands for excellence and

Under Project XL, EPA offers
flexibility in  its regulations,
policies, procedures, and
guidance, as well as  other
benefits  to encourage devel-
opment  and  testing of
"cleaner, cheaper, and
smarter" ways to protect
public health and the envi-
ronment. Two key condi-
tions for such pilot projects
are 1) that they produce
better environmental results,

and 2) that they involve
representatives of the public
in the project.

Projects already underway
demonstrate that alternative
regulatory strategies can
greatly increase environmen-
tal protection while produc-
ing  substantiaj cost savings,
greater operational  flexibility,
better stakeholder relation-
ships, and the ability to
adapt processes and prod-
ucts more quickly to changes
in consumer demand.
and other materials are
available  on  the Internet at:
ProjectXL and through fax-
on-demand  at202/260-8590.
Or, call John Palmer, EPA, at
206/553-6521  or 1-800-424-
4EPA X6521, email:
Starthistle,  Spurge,

It seems EPA's collection of
documents on safe pesticide
use is growing like a weed!
Eleven new pamphlets are
available as part of EPA's
Urban Pesticide Initiative.
The documents contain
integrated pest management
(IPM) information  to help in
the control of noxious weeds
in  the Northwest.  Weeds
covered include: yellow and
purple Starthistle; gorse;
tansy ragwort; leafy spurge;
spotted,  diffuse, and Russian
knapweed; Canada thistle;
Scotch, French, and Spanish
broom; smooth cordgrass
(Spartina, A.); and purple
loosestrife.   EPA  also  has
copies of other popular
documents such as  "Inte-
grated Vegetation Manage-
ment for Roadsides" and
"Integrated Pest Management
for Schools: A How-To
Manual."  For free copies,
contact Donald Priest  at
206/553-2584, 1-800-424-
4EPA X2584, or email:
Wetlands.  Wetlands. Wetlands!

America's Wetlands---A Vital Link

Wetlands—marshes, swamps, bogs, and similar watery
places—are natural wonderlands of great value, serving
as the vital  link between water and land.  They are found
in nearly every US county, and take many forms and
sizes.  Wetlanids help improve water quality, control
flooding, provide critical habitat, and offer recreational
activities.   Unfortunately, more than half of our wetlands
have been  destroyed.  A new booklet from EPA gives a
better understanding of the rich variety of wetlands,  their
importance, how they are threatened, and what can be
done to conserve them  for future generations.  The book-
let is 16 pages and contains full-color  photos.   To request
a free copy of America's Wetlands: Our Vital  Link Be-
tween Land and Water, call EPA's Public Environmental
Resource Center at 206/553-1200 or  1-800-424-4EPA.
Tierras Pantanosas: Wetlands in

A poster-sized wetlands brochure—written entirely in
Spanish-is now available free from EPA.  On one side is
a suitable-for-coloring poster showing different  types of
plants and animals one might find in a wetland, complete
with written descriptions. On the other side is  detailed
information about wetlands, including their types, val-
ues, and what individuals can do to help  protect them.
For copies, call the Public Environmental Resource Cen-
ter at 206/553-1200 or 1-800-424-4EPA.
Wetlands Guide for Partnerships

Folks seeking to organize a local partnership to protect
their watershed may find a new 8-page document helpful.
It's called Wetlands: A Key Link In Watershed Manage-
ment, A Guide for Watershed Partnerships.  The guide
discusses how wetlands can  benefit a watershed, pro-
vides information designed to build understanding about
wetlands, explores the management and restoration of
wetlands, and highlights what can  be done on their
behalf.  The Conservation Technology Information Center
developed the guide with support from EPA and others.
For  a free copy, call EPA's Public  Environmental Re-
source Center at 206/553-1200 or 1-800-424-4EPA.
    National Wetlands Information Hotline
              Phone:  1-800-832-7828
       Email: wetlands-hotline@epamail.epa.gov
                                      Page 5

                           Resources  On Line!

Beaches and Fish on  the Web

A new EPA Internet site is afloat for citizens interested in checking the health and environ-
ment of their beaches.  Through the site, http://www.epa.gov/ost/beaches, citizens can get
information on whether their beach is monitored for microbial pollution and on advisories
and  closings for those beaches. The information  is limited to those beaches that responded
to EPA's survey.  The site currently has information on more than 1,000 beaches and contin-
ues to expand as responses are received.  A similar website at  http://www.epa.gov/ost/fish/
has been developed to give access  to state fish advisories.  EPA has also developed a Beach
Action Plan and a five-year strategy to develop stronger,  faster and more accurate beach
monitoring programs  for states.  The program will strengthen beach water quality standards,
improve access to information on beach water quality, and  increase research to address
health problems related to swimming.  These initiatives were key action items in the
President's Clean Water Action  Plan. For more information about these initiatives, call Curry
Jones, EPA, at 206/553-6912 or 1-800-424-4EPA x6912, or email

Water  Discussions Online

Folks who wish to network with others interested in small community drinking water, waste-
water, or environmental training issues may want to check  out new online  discussion areas.
The  online resources  are intended  to be networking tools for local officials, regulators, assis-
tance providers, consultants, engineers,  educators,  and  the public. The computer  discus-
sion areas offer an avenue to ask  questions, discuss small  community environmental issues,
learn of additional resources, or just read what others in the water and training fields are
talking about.  The sites are listed  below. For more information call Diana  Knott,  1-800-
National Small Flows  Clearinghouse:  small  community and onsite wastewater treatment
issues, www.nsfc.wvu.edu
National Drinking Water Clearinghouse: small community drinking water issues,
National Environmental Training Center for Small Communities:  environmental training
issues, www.netc.wvu.edu

Enviro Funding  Online

Looking for a way to  fund a community-based environmental project?  Check out the Com-
munity Based Environmental Protection webpage.  It summarizes ten  competitive grant
programs  administered by EPA Region 10.  Eligible applicants include tribes, communities,
and  not-for-profit  organizations. To access this information, visit Region 10's homepage at
http://www.epa.gov/r10earth/index.htm.  Select  "Programs  and  Offices" from the  menu on
the left.  Under "Office of Ecosystems and Communities," click on "Community Based Envi-
ronmental Protection  (CBEP)." A contact person is listed  for each grant program if you have
additional  questions or would like  to request application materials.
 Reach  EPA Staff  Via Email
Visit EPA With Your Computer
                                                  at www.epa.gov/r10earth
To reach EPA staff by email, simply use this
formula for the address:
jastname.firstname@epamail.epa.gov.  For example, the email address for WaterTalk's editor
is lindsay.andrea@epamail.epa.gov.  Of course, there are exceptions—if you can't get a
message through, call 1-800-424-4EPA for assistance.
                                       Page 6


4-7: Cross Currents in Water  Policy, Hood
River,  Oregon.  University Council  of Water
Resources, 540/231-8039.

16-20: Integrated Tools for Natural Re-
sources Inventories in  21st Century, Boise,
Idaho. Society of American Foresters,

29-October 4: Washington WaterWeeks,
annual series of events to involve residents
throughout the state in water restoration
and education efforts.  Marie  McNamara,


11-13: Salmon Homecoming  Celebration,
Seattle Waterfront, Washington.

1-2: Emergency Planning for Water and
Wastewater Utilities, Auburn,  Washington.
Washington Environmental Training Center,
253/833-9111  X3369,  1-800-562-0858.

9-11:  A Time  For Hearing, tribal resource
protection conference,  Olympia, Washington.
Skokomish Natural Resources, 360/877-
5213, email: dublanik@elwha.evergreen.edu
or www.nwlink.com/~mwf/


10-11: Salmon Festival, Oxbow Park,
Portland, Oregon.
16: Deadline for submissions for the Novem-
ber issue of WaterTalk Newsletter.  Andrea
Lindsay, EPA Editor, 206/553-1896 or
1-800-424-4EPA X1896.

20-22: Environmental Forum for Business
Expo, Spokane, Washington, 509/358-2073.

20-22: Designing & Implementing  Habitat
Modifications for Salmon and Trout, Univer-
sity of WA. Engineering Professional Pro-
grams, 206/543-5539, www.engr.washington.

26-28: Pacific Northwest Pollution Control
Association Annual Conference,  Portland,
Oregon, 503/579-1472.

28-30: Ecosystem Restoration: Turning the
Tide, Tacoma, Washington. Society for Eco-
logical Restoration Northwest Chapter,


3-4: Tribal Environmental Conference, Seattle,
Washington. EPA Region 10, Ruth  Siguenza,
553-2143, 1-800-424-4EPA X2143, email:

17-18: Northwest Environmental Conference
and Trade Show, Portland, Oregon.  Northwest
Environmental Business Council,
503/227-6361,  http://www.nebc.or/nwec/
                              Mailing List Update

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                                       Page 7

WaterTalk is published quarterly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10.  WaterTalk seeks to
be a useful tool for those who protect water resources and ecosystems in communities of the Greater Pacific
Northwest, by providing  practical resources and relevant agency news.

Mention of trade names, products, or  services does not convey,  and should not be interpreted as conveying,
official EPA approval, endorsement, or recommendation.

You are invited to contribute items for publication.  Submittal deadline is the 15th day of the month  preceding

WaterTalk articles are available for use in other publications.  Please  give credit  to WaterTalk.

                    For mailing list changes, call Tomi Rutherford at 206/553-0603.
                       To contact the  Editor, call  Andrea Lindsay at 206/553-1896,
                   1-800-424-4EPA x1896, or  email: lindsay.andrea@epamail.epa.gov.

Accessibility  Information: This publication is available  in  alternate formats (eg,  large print,  Braille).  To request
an alternate format, contact EPA at 206/553-1200 or 1-800-424-4EPA. People with  hearing or speech
impairments can call EPA's telecommunication device  for the deaf (TDD) at 206/553-1698.

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