The Kankakee/Iroquois River watershed is located in northwest Indiana, draining approximately 3000 square miles in Lake, Porter, LaPorte, St. Joseph, Elkhart, Kosciusko, Marshall, Starke, Jasper, Newton and Benton counties. Major streams included in the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report are the Kankakee and Iroquois River system.
A comprehensive survey of the Kankakee/Iroquois River Watershed was conducted by Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) in 2008. The primary cause of impairment is Escherichia coli bacteria (E. coli). Pollution sources in the watershed include nonpoint sources from agriculture and pastures, land application of manure and urban and rural run-off, as well as point sources from straight pipe discharges, home sewage treatment system disposal and combined sewer overflow outlets.
TMDLs for the Kankakee/Iroquois River Watershed are established for E. coli and will address 80 impairments. Some of the recommended solutions to address the impairments include storm water controls, point source controls, manure management and habitat improvements.
Kickoff public meetings were held in Rensselaer, IN on May 19, 2008 and Kankakee, IL on May 20, 2008.
Two draft meetings were held. The first draft TMDL public meeting was held on March 24, 2009 at the Kankakee VFW Post #2857, 756 Jeffery Street, Kankakee, Illinois starting at 6:00 p.m. (CST). The second draft TMDL public meeting was held March 25, 2009 at the Jasper County Public Library, 208 West Susan Street, Rensselaer, Indiana starting at 6:00 p.m. (EST).
A comment period began on Mach 16, 2009 and ended on April 17, 2009.
U.S. EPA under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act approved the Kankakee/Iroquois River Watershed TMDL report on September 29, 2009 for 80 impairments. TMDL reports identify and evaluate water quality problems in impaired water bodies and propose solutions to bring those waters into attainment with water quality standards.
Following approval, it was discovered that a facility had been included in the final TMDL report in error. As a result, IDEM made revisions to the report to remove the facility. A 30-day public comment period on the revised draft lasted from January 17, 2020 to February 17, 2020. U.S. EPA approved the revised TMDL report on March 27, 2020.