IDEM will implement activities and strategies to monitor water quality and assess NPS pollution in Indiana waters. Of critical importance is the need to identify NPS pollution knowledge gaps and characterize the extent and magnitude of NPS pollution in Indiana. The following objectives and measures will be implemented by IDEM to enhance its existing programs.
Objective A: NPS Water Quality Monitoring Strategy
- Short-term: Develop a NPS monitoring strategy in conjunction with IDEM’s Assessment Branch to evaluate the magnitude and extent of NPS pollution within the state of Indiana.
- Measure: Completion of the NPS monitoring strategy and its incorporation into IDEM’s comprehensive water quality monitoring strategy.
- Short-term: Develop a data quality objective (DQO) process to require performance and acceptance criteria for data collection by third party entities.
- Measure: Completion of a third party DQO process to serve as the basis for designing a plan for collecting data of sufficient quality and quantity to support the goals of the study.
- Medium-term: Use additional resources (e.g., staff, funds, and technical support) to monitor water quality in watersheds where NPS restoration activities have occurred. The monitoring data will be compared to baseline information, if available, to gauge the efficacy of the work.
- Measure: Implementation of the NPS monitoring program and analysis of data collected.
Objective B: Data Collection
- Medium-term: Develop and implement a system to store and evaluate NPS pollution environmental monitoring data collected in the state of Indiana.
- Measure: Completion of a NPS pollution database for the storage and evaluation of data collected by NPS projects.
- Long-term: Develop standard operating procedures to allow third party entities to enter data into the NPS pollution database.
- Measure: Development of a Web page for use by third party entities to enter data collected for Section 319-funded projects into the NPS database optimizing the access to and evaluation of data collected by 319 funded projects.
Objective C: NPS Pollution Assessment Technology
- Long-term: Use Geographic Information System (GIS), remote sensing, and other tools to illustrate differences in land use that could affect NPS pollution in Indiana waterways and demonstrate anthropogenic changes.
- Measure: Increased number of tools used to demonstrate the effects of various land uses on NPS pollution.
Objective D: NPS Pollution Assessment Methodology
- Medium-term: Develop an assessment methodology to characterize the causes of impaired waters listed on the 303(d) list and discern point source pollution from NPS.
- Measure: Creation of a formal assessment process that uses best available data to characterize pollutant sources.
- Long-term: Use available data to rank watersheds, based on NPS pollution levels and potential to address the problem, to prioritize the state’s management efforts and assist state and local partner NPS programs.
- Measure: Development of a ranking system for all watersheds in Indiana and assignment of a NPS management rank to each watershed.
Partnerships are a key to effective watershed management. Through a partnership, different people and organizations work together to address common interests and concerns. In order to achieve its long-term goals, IDEM is committed to building partnerships to address NPS pollution in Indiana. Building successful partnerships takes skill, time, and patience. IDEM will implement the following objectives to build partnerships at the local, state, and federal levels.
Objective A: Improve U.S. EPA/IDEM NPS Program Coordination
- Short-term: Establish a formal schedule of meetings with U.S. EPA to evaluate IDEM’s NPS program and obtain feedback on program improvement opportunities and successes.
- Measure: Establishment of a fixed communication schedule for program coordination.
Objective B: Support the Section 6217 component of the Indiana Department of Natural Resource’s (IDNR’s) Indiana Coastal Management Program
- Short-term: Support the IDNR Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program in obtaining full program approval.
- Measure: Number of conditions resolved through the collaborative efforts of the two programs.
- Medium-term: Develop a collaborative approach between IDEM and the IDNR Coastal Nonpoint Management Program to work on local watershed management planning and implementation efforts in the Great Lakes drainage basin.
- Measure: Number of projects in the coastal area where IDEM has worked collaboratively through funding, technical support, or other methods with stakeholders in the Lake Michigan and Lake Erie watersheds.
Objective C: IDEM Programs
- Short-term: Focus NPS financial and technical resources in watersheds with approved TMDLs that address NPS pollution and implementable watershed plans that are supported by a local watershed group.
- Measure: Number of watersheds with approved TMDLs that address NPS pollution impacts and that have Section 319-funded planning or implementation activities occurring.
- Short-term: Work collaboratively with IDEM’s assessment program(s) through the establishment of a formal NPS monitoring strategy.
- Measure: Creation of a NPS monitoring strategy and internal procedures detailing needed monetary and staffing resources.
- Medium-term: Use input obtained from NPS partners to develop and revise, as needed, a comprehensive IDEM Watershed Specialist strategy to support IDEM’s internal and external partners efforts to focus on alleviating NPS pollution issues.
- Measure: Completion and implementation of a comprehensive Watershed Specialist strategy.
- Long-term: Implement a formal watershed approach to IDEM program coordination when evaluating permits, policies, and rules related to water pollution.
- Measure: Development of a formal procedure and staff taskforce to address, on a watershed basis, individual agency actions that may affect water pollution.
Objective D NPS Partnerships
- Short-term: Implement the creation of an advisory group of state and federal agencies, as well as interested entities and organizations, to assist with refining the state’s NPS policy and procedures for all programs and agencies that work with NPS pollution.
- Measure: Creation of an advisory group to the IDEM Section 319 Program on NPS issues that includes representatives from all applicable programs and partnerships, both regulatory and non-regulatory.
- Short-term: Use current IDEM Watershed Specialists to assist partners with NPS planning and implementation activities.
- Measure: Percentage of partner projects working with a IDEM Watershed Specialist for NPS-related activities.
- Medium-term: Create a NPS management plan workgroup to conduct annual evaluations of the effectiveness of the NPS program and recommend revisions to specific components and sections of the plan.
- Measure: Creation of the workgroup and production of an annual report.
- Medium-term: Work with surrounding states that share watersheds with Indiana to develop consistent approaches to addressing NPS pollution.
- Measure: Creation of standard operating procedures to work with Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Kentucky on the coordination of NPS activities within watersheds that span state boundaries.
- Long-term: Establish a formal process to maintain an inventory of watershed groups, organizations, and governmental entities whose primary purpose is to study, plan, or manage NPS pollution.
- Measure: Creation and maintenance of a Web-based database of active watershed groups, organizations, and governmental entities whose primary purpose is to study, plan, and manage NPS pollution. The database will be deployed on IDEM’s Web site.
Capacity building means raising the necessary level of awareness and the abilities of organizations to address issues related to NPS pollution in an effective and efficient manner. IDEM recognizes that watershed groups and IDEM partners need a range of tools to effectively manage water resources. In addition, the increasing complexity of watershed projects, combined with the difficulties of maintaining volunteer organizations, strain the existence of watershed groups and their ability to protect and restore watersheds. Sustainable watershed partnerships that include citizens, private industries, and government agencies, that are not dependent upon government grants, provide the long-term interest and focus needed for effective, local watershed management. Capacity building is also critical to this effort. In an effort to provide additional resources and or tools to assist these entities, IDEM will implement the following objectives and measures related to education and training to support watershed organizations as they manage NPS pollution.
Objective A: Develop Education and Training Initiatives for Use at the Watershed Level to Build Capacity of the Staff of Watershed Groups and Local Governments
- Short-term: Update IDEM’s NPS Web site to create a repository for information on NPS planning, implementation, and guidance on applying for and implementing Section 319 grants.
- Measure: Completion of updated NPS Web site and compilation of a utilization survey.
- Short-term: Evaluate existing NPS pollution program partners and determine resources (financial and technical) needed to improve program efficacy.
- Measure: Development of partner resource needs report.
- Medium-term: Develop collaborative training and outreach materials based on needs solicited from partners.
- Measure: Number and types of training and types of outreach materials developed and distributed as a result of assessed needs.
- Long-term: Create Web-based tools to assist local groups with identification of resources, partners, and technical support to create more self-sustaining watershed groups dedicated to addressing NPS pollution.
- Measure: Number and type of IDEM NPS Web site hits.
- Long-term: Survey and assess staff knowledge levels, with partner participation, to refine and modify capacity-building needs and existing resources.
- Measure: Modification of partner participation, capacity-building needs based on the results of survey assessment.
Objective B: Comprehensive Training Program
- Short-term: Develop and conduct training workshops to inform 319 grant recipients about key program policies and provide training on grant implementation.
- Measure: Annual Section 319 training workshop conducted by IDEM available for all grant recipients and applicants.
- Medium-term: Develop internal IDEM training manuals and policy documents for use by IDEM personnel to ensure clear and consistent grant program implementation.
- Measure: Number of internal training manuals incorporated in day to day operations of IDEM’s program for Section 319 implementation and financial management.
- Long-term: Develop and implement self-sustaining programs (train-the- trainer) to teach watershed leaders, water quality data collectors, and project facilitators to successfully implement watershed plans.
- Measure: Development of a multi-agency strategy for assessing needs and developing related skills and publish on IDEM’s NPS Web site.
Objective C: Raise Public Awareness and Education Through Outreach Activities
- Short-term: Enhance efforts to educate citizens on urban and agricultural NPS issues through the development of a comprehensive outreach campaign.
- Measure: Number of outreach efforts conducted, categorized by training versus education.
- Medium-term: Develop a repository of Web-based public outreach, educational materials for use by internal and external partners and local watershed groups.
- Measure: Number of IDEM NPS Web site hits.
- Medium-term: Utilize the IDEM NPS Web site to distribute information regarding NPS pollution, upcoming training events, available resources, and other relevant information. Make it available for use by locally led watershed groups.
- Measure: Number of IDEM NPS Web site hits. Evaluate the usage of the IDEM NPS website by using their length of stay on the Web site.
Objective D: Build Sustainable, Locally-Led Watershed Groups
- Short-term: Work with active watershed groups to assess resource (technical, financial, and managerial) needs to enhance or ensure sustainable activities beyond Section 319 funding.
- Measure: Number of watershed groups that actively seek and obtain funding, in addition to Section 319, to sustain the continual group operation.
- Long-term: Work to create new watershed groups from ground level and provide these groups with a strong base for sustainability.
- Measure: Number of new watershed groups formed subsequent to January 2009.
Funding Priorities and Adaptive Management
IDEM is committed to target resources to activities that will result in measurable improvements in water quality and reduce nonpoint source pollution. To achieve this goal, it is essential that funding priorities be established and target pollutants and watersheds be addressed using adaptive management. The following objectives and measures will be utilized by IDEM to address NPS pollution and improve water quality.
Objective A: Focus Section 319 Planning Funds
- Short-term: Target Section 319 funds in appropriate amounts, to watershed groups that will develop and implement watershed plans to address 303(d)-listed waters impaired by NPS pollution.
- Measure: Number of watershed groups developing and or implementing watershed plans in 303(d) listed waters receiving Section 319 funds in appropriate amounts to accomplish their projects goals.
- Medium-term: Assess water quality data to identify watersheds that should be evaluated for possible NPS water quality improvements.
- Measure: Number of watersheds identified for evaluation of NPS water quality improvements.
- Long-term: Work with internal and external partners to solicit and utilize joint funding strategies, including Section 319 funds, in watersheds where other partner-funded projects are occurring to maximize the efficacy of funds.
- Measure: Number of projects funded by Section 319 in connection with other partner funds that document improvements in water quality where NPS pollution was identified and a watershed approach was used to solve the problem.
Objective B: Target Key Pollutants and Watersheds
- Short-term: Determine the extent of impacts that sediments, bacteria, nutrients, and other identified NPS pollutants have on Indiana waters.
- Measure: Document the results of impact analysis.
- Medium-term: Target Section 319 funds to watersheds with waters that are impaired by NPS pollution and where TMDLs can be implemented.
- Measure: Number of watersheds that have received Section 319 funds where implementable TMDLs have been completed.
- Long-term: Upon completion of nutrient standards, focus Section 319 funds on watersheds that have waters impaired by nutrients.
- Measure: Percentage of Section 319 funding allocated to waters impaired by nutrients.
Objective C: Adaptive Management
- Short-term: Work with U.S. EPA to establish a comprehensive adaptive management program to improve all aspects of the implementation of the IDEM Section 319 Program with clearly delineated priorities and corrective actions.
- Measure: Percentage of program completion.
- Medium-term: Establish formal processes to incorporate NPS advisory group, social and environmental indicators, and ad hoc, in-house evaluation information in improved program policy and direction.
- Measure: Number of formal processes incorporated into program policy.
- Long-term: Update the NPS management plan to reflect completed goals, new priorities, and needed corrective actions.
- Measure: Percentage of updated plan completed.