Water Quality Committee meeting summary

May 18, 2021

Federal Issues:

WOTUS—Chris Reichard reported he hasn’t heard anything new, but the Committee acknowledged that a revised rule would be coming at some point from the Biden Administration.

Caitlin McCale from NMA will be a guest speaker at a future CMA Water Quality Committee meeting. Perhaps in July or August. Discussion of navigable waters to be a specific topic.

State Issues:

  1. Regulation 31
  • Rebuttal Statement submitted. Prehearing Conference coming up.
  • Iron—GEI testimony responding to comment made Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
  1. June 14—Water Quality Control Commission Hearing
  • Anti-Degradation—Iron
  • Temporary Modifications
  • Longevity Plans for Site-Specific Standards, Standards not routinely applied Aluminum and others
  • Negotiations ongoing, complete on May 27
  1. Water Quality Permitting Policy 5—Withdrawal proposed by Division—CMA asked for additional time for comment. Comments due June 11—Further discussion by Committee. Limited public notice, committee is researching who uses policy. Appendix—outlines acceptable impacts from exploration projects.
  • Discussion by Jimmy Boswell of whether WQCD Policy #1 is consistent of inconsistent with WQCD Policy #5?
  • Coverage of springs?
  • Pre-mining
  • Delineate types of activities
  • Inactivation of permits—mass loading
  • What kind of data needed to be collected prior to permitting?
  • Active mining: terminate a permit while the discharge remains if wq standards are met.
  • Would an email to the Division with questions be a good idea?
  • Call with Gabe Racz to discuss—May 25.
  1. Chemical Evaluations—Big issue, what do they really want? Not developing guidance which would help. Looking for component part toxicity or component part percentages to compare to stream standards, and/or interaction of all chemicals (Soup). How Division goes through this process is a question.
  • Start a new email list and group. Put off until June?
  • Are operators doing chemical evaluations?
  • Series of issues permitees will be identifying, should Andrew Newhart—Permit Topics Group, meets 1st Thursday of the month. Maybe the best place to interact unless mining specific.
  • Have lots of other chemicals other than water treatment chemicals.
  • Supplier notification—Samantha Anderson, did this come up during webinar. Request to modify Material Data Sheets. Discussion of what information Division is getting versus need for altering Material Data Sheets.
  • July 15—next webinar, try to get some comments to the Division prior to that. Don’t want Division to consider this to be “done”.
  • Chantell reiterated her offer to provide information to members about Permit Topics Workgroup to members.
  • Dan Delauder, Andrew Newhart—Chantell to follow back up with whether the group has a list of issues. Stan brought up previous list of issues, Chantell reminded group she checked in with labs. Division has not responded to group.
  • Reiterated willingness to share information about the Permit Issues Group.
  • Chantell to reach out to Kevin Thompson of Suez.
  1. Reasonable Potential—Jimmy Boswell wrote comments that Chantell will review and send to Stan to committee for committee distribution. Item was discussed in Permit Webinar, described briefly, which generated numerous questions. Will put on the agenda for June.
  2. PFAS—New reporting requirements, CMA sent out in April to various committee members. Miguel stated these were related to Hazardous Waste Division regulations including registration requirements. Concerns exist about testing and disposal of foams. Wastewater containing foams? Need to share information about where disposal of wastewater containing foams can be done. Check in at June meeting. Perhaps a CMA webinar? Class B Foams used in a lot of systems. Check with other CMA committees.
  3. Industrial Stormwater—General Permit for Non-Extractive Industries
  • Agency is using these for templates for other permits, then apply in the mining industry. Move to a June discussion. What are people seeing in changes?
  • Not going to renew stormwater for Mining, does the non-extractive general permit tendencies indicate direction?
  • Another operator starting permitting cycle, already information is being requested about operations. Ask Kathy Welt to describe permitting issues. Chantell to contact Kathy Welt. Last permit they had renewed added hundreds of point sources. Maybe add Poppy Staub to discussion.
  • Division stated already they would not be issuing certifications on the mining general permit, are they revising the permit?
  1. 10-Year Roadmap—Next meeting in August (WQCD), Started in 2017 through 2027, align changes to water quality standards, highlighting changes this summer to Regulation 31.
  • Next meeting—August
  • Chris Reichard—May 13 meeting summary
  • Process—Framework of Roadmap—checking with folks to go beyond 2027—responses were positive.
  • Adding aluminum—CMA request, not planning to do that.
  • CPW—similarities between iron and aluminum—treating for nutrients
  • Is State addressing sulphate when addressing selenium?
  • Sulphate selenium addressed as a combo—site-specific standards.
  • Brianna—Pushback on call about aluminum 304 a list—coupling of aluminum and iron by CPW.
  • Members can review CMA’s Regulation 31 testimony add link
  • Arsenic results: Current conditions, temporary modifications, fish tissue implementation studies—EPA guidance
  • Return to in person meetings?
  1. Dredge and Fill (conversation continued through Coal, Hardrock and Uranium Committee meeting)
  • New bill draft from CDPHE covering enforcement and funding
  • Jim Sanderson sent CMA a document listing questions and comments
  • County health departments like Mesa County expressed concern after CDPHE solicited support from County health departments.
  • New draft bill attempts to explicitly give authority to CDPHE to enforce perceived water quality violations related to dredge and fill.
  • No permit created with new draft bill. No exemptions, no limitations to gap waters only.
  • Department attempts to see the new bill as an appropriations bill, not an enforcement bill. Department withheld the bill from Colorado Water Congress deliberations.
  • CMA will convene committee meetings as appropriate to endure timely member communications.