PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management's Office of Water Resources announces that the draft Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology (CALM) for conducting the 2014 surface water quality assessments is available for public review. The CALM describes the decision-making process used for assessing the quality of the state's surface waters and for generating the list of impaired waters.
The draft 2014 CALM presents an updated methodology from that used for the 2010 and 2012 surface water quality assessments. The document includes a description of quality assurance requirements, methods used to evaluate water quality data and assess water quality standards attainment, and the rationale for the placement of water bodies into the integrated lists.
The major changes from the 2010 and 2012 CALM include an updated methodology to evaluate macroinvertebrate and habitat data for Aquatic Life Use support. Additionally, preliminary information from DEM's ongoing numeric nutrient criteria development work for lakes and ponds, which suggests evaluation of multiple indicators of eutrophication, has been incorporated to assess nutrient data for Aquatic Life Use support.
The State is required to biennially prepare and submit to USEPA a report describing the overall water quality of the State's waters in accordance with Section 305(b) of the federal Clean Water Act. Historically, the Rhode Island 305(b) State of the State's Waters Report provided this information. Section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act requires states to develop a list of waters that do not meet water quality standards. Water bodies that do not meet water quality standards under the 305(b) process are placed on the 303(d) List of Impaired Waters. USEPA guidance recommends that states integrate their Section 305(b) water quality assessment report and their Section 303(d) impaired waters list into a single document known as the Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report (Integrated Report). This report includes a five-part integrated list format for reporting the water quality assessment status of the state's waters. DEM prepared the first Integrated Report and Lists during the 2008 assessment cycle.
Copies of the draft 2014 CALM are available on DEM's website at www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/water/quality/pdf/drftcalm.pdf or by calling Connie Carey in the Office of Water Resources at 222-4700 ext. 7239. The draft CALM is also available at DEM's Office of Water Resources at 235 Promenade Street in Providence, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
DEM's Office of Water Resources will accept comments on the draft CALM through January 30, 2015. Comments can be mailed to Connie Carey, DEM/Office of Water Resources, 235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908, or they may be submitted via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. After review and consideration of comments received the Department will finalized and post the 2014 CALM on DEM's website.