Water Plan Amendment Comment Period Open Today

VLAWMO has been preparing an amendment to our Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan (2017-2026) and are happy to be sharing results of this work. We have been working with BWSR, our Technical Commission, and Board of Directors to prepare and approve amendment. Our Board approved substance of the updates and authorized VLAWMO to distribute the draft plan amendment, establish the 30-day comment period, and notice the public meeting during our regular meeting on April 24, 2019.

Our comment period is open from May 3-June 3, 2019. We invite your comments and responses during this time. VLAWMO will hold a public meeting during our regular Board meeting on June 26, 2019. VLAWMO will notice this meeting on June 12 and June 19.

All changes are indicated in the Draft Water Plan Amendment. Deletions are stricken, and additions are underlined. Changes are highlighted in red. All changes are indicated below with page numbers.

Water Plan Amendment: Changes and Brief Explanations

Water Plan draft amendments reflect changes in our SLMP schedule that was approved by our Board during the regular meeting on December 12, 2018, add capital projects, and update the budget. Project updates are needed to expand efforts because many projects originally specified in the plan have been completed or are underway. Project updates include statement of VLAWMO’s maintenance work as the ditch authority on Lambert Creek (LC) and an expanded description of LC activities including addressing TMDL priorities. LC is explicitly included in TMDL priorities; the earlier draft only stated impaired lakes. Budget items are updated to reflect SLMP schedule changes, increased survey costs include updated technology now being used that was not available when the original plan was prepared, and adjusted timing to reflect current scheduling implementation plans. Additionally, we expand upon wetland survey strategies, and include implementation of restoration when feasible to support wetland function for water quality.

Changes indicated and described:

  • P. 4 and P. 26: Inserted and stream. This adds Lambert Creek to the impaired water priorities. The previous version was specific to lake impairment and nutrient reductions. We expand the language to include Lambert Creek, which is impaired for bacteria. Deleted nutrient to broaden the language and include bacteria. Inserted and Lambert Creek to the specified impaired waters.
  • P. 5 and P. 27: Inserted Strategy 1-1-5: Seek to achieve watershed load reductions prescribed in TMDL studies by implementing BMPs in lakes, streams, and surrounding areas. Support BMPs with restoration when feasible. We added this strategy to expand BMP options. We more specifically recognize the role of healthy ecosystems in buffering against sudden environmental changes (e.g., storm events). On P 27, we added more detail about the project details for Lambert Creek to match the level of detail that was previously provided for the lakes.
  • P. 5 and P. 28: Added to strategy 1-3-2. We include monitoring of sensitive wetland species and indicators of water quality to improve information about wetland health and identify areas for protection/restoration. We add an emphasis on including restoration when feasible and plan to do so working with partners. Inserted Restoration of mitigation sites may be considered and undertaken.
  • P. 37: Updated the SLMP schedule as previously proposed by VLWAMO and approved by the Board. The new schedule will allow us to complete SLMPs earlier, though it does move Lake Amelia back from where it was originally scheduled.
  • P. 42, 43, 44: Changed capital projects to infrastructure to broaden the definition and include ditch maintenance. Added ditch authority statement on P. 43 and included the specific chapters that confer authority.

 Subwatershed activity changes:

  • P. 47: Include maintenance and new work on Lambert Lake, Creek, and pond.
  • P. 48: Broaden subwatershed-scale projects beyond only the Polar Chevrolet Channel and include implementation for nutrient and internal load reductions.
  • P. 49: Add implementation to 4th and Otter project. Implementation is currently underway.
  • P. 51: Includes need supported by monitoring data and expressed as priority by stakeholders for carp management, water-quality improvements, and new information that may need to be included in sediment studies with interactions between Charley and Pleasant Lakes.
  • P. 52: Add emphasis on understanding, protecting, and restoring native vegetation areas in Vadnais-Sucker Lakes Regional Park and using indicator species to understand wetland health.

P. 57: Budget explanation:

  • Moved projects to reflect current SLMP scheduled tasks
  • Increased funds allocated for surveys to reflect increased costs due to new information availability (e.g., bathymetry and biomass)
  • Moved large projects that are still planned but have not yet been implemented (e.g., Goose Lake alum treatment, Lambert Creek BMPs)
  • Added $30,000 per year to Operations & Administration for engineering services approved by the Board in 2018 and currently in effect for VLAWMO in 2019.
  • Added $10,000 per year to Monitoring & Studies intended for wetland surveys and related monitoring efforts proposed to begin in 2020 budget.

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