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Update on TMACOG Water Quality Committees

TMACOG members have been meeting regularly to address the reorganization of the TMACOG Environmental Planning department to more directly focus on water quality in the region. New committees are being created, mission statements formulated, and bylaws created. The bylaws are written to ensure representation by a diverse membership and to include all critical interests. As of mid-September, leadership has been tentatively identified for most committees. Letters have been sent to member communities inviting participation.

The Wastewater Committee staffed by Vice President of Environmental Planning Kurt Erichsen will take the lead on maintenance of the Areawide Water Quality Management Plan (the 208 Plan) although other committees will have important roles. This committee will expand its services from the four counties and three townships of the 208 Plan area to include communities that have not had access to a consolidated planning agency. Some of these under-served areas include the City of Napoleon in Henry County and Fulton County villages and townships. If these areas request assistance with planning, services will be made available.
The Stormwater Committee staffed by Planner Kari Gerwin will continue to coordinate the work of the 25 governmental members of the Stormwater Coalition responsible for stormwater permitting in their jurisdictions. This group also researches green infrastructure, presents webinars, and coordinates training. The Stormwater Coalition will take charge of the stormwater chapter of the 208 Plan.
The Watersheds Committee is staffed by Maumee River Coordinator Matt Horvat. This group will address the agriculture and drainage sections of the 208 Plan and also pursue waterway improvements to reduce erosion, treat bacteria, and reduce nutrient loads.
A Public Water Supply Committee will provide continuing education to both water treatment operators and to regulators and create a network for sharing resources and technical information. This group would include the Ohio EPA and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to keep membership informed about changes in regulations and standards. It’s envisioned that committee membership will expand beyond TMACOG members to include private water system operators and environmental consultants.
A Regional Water Policies Committee is in development. Members are organizing a committee to work on policy issues including a regional water authority. This group will meet on an ad hoc basis through 2015 and establish a regular schedule after the General Assembly in January, 2016.

 





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