PROPOSED ANNUAL WAIVER FOR TEMPORARY TURBIDITY INCREASES ASSOCIATED WITH MINOR MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR PROJECTS

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Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality

Public Notice: PROPOSED ANNUAL WAIVER FOR TEMPORARY TURBIDITY INCREASES ASSOCIATED WITH MINOR MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR PROJECTS

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) has received a request from the U.S. Forest Service for an annual waiver for temporary turbidity increases associated with minor maintenance and repair projects in Wyoming. The temporary increases in turbidity would be associated with road, culvert and other minor maintenance or repairs to address force majeure impacts in or adjacent to surface waters.

Increases in turbidity resulting from activities occurring in cold water fisheries are normally limited to a ten (10) NTU increase over background whereas warm water and non-game fisheries are allowed only a fifteen (15) NTU increase. Approval of this request would allow an exceedance of these limits for up to two (2) total working days on individual projects, subject to monitoring and reporting. This activity will follow the procedures in Chapter 1, Section 23(c)(ii), of the WDEQ Water Quality Rules and Regulations, which allow for temporary elevated levels of turbidity in certain circumstances.

This turbidity waiver will only cover minor maintenance and repair projects for the U.S. Forest Service or by its contractors that are initiated in the 2021 calendar year within national forests in Wyoming. Where applicable, individual projects would also be covered under a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 404 permit.

Requests for information about the proposed turbidity increase should be directed to Eric Hargett by email (eric.hargett@wyo.gov) or phone (307-777-6701). Comments must be addressed to Eric Hargett, Wyoming DEQ/WQD, 200 W. 17th Street – 4TH floor, Cheyenne, WY, 82002, and be postmarked on or before 5:00 p.m. on January 27, 2021 to be considered. Phone or email comments will not be accepted. Para español, visite deq.wyoming.gov.