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Monitoring, Assessment & Standards

The US EPA-Approved TMDL for the Cimarron River Watershed
(Canadian River to Headwaters)

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The Cimarron River at Cimarron Canyon State Park's Tolby Campground...  Download the 2.1 MB PDF today!

The Cimarron River Watershed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) includes a package of thirty-one integrated TMDL planning documents for arsenic, bacteria, plant nutrients, and temperature in several distinct assessment units as outlined below. SWQB announced a 30-Day Public Comment Period for the Draft Cimarron River Watershed TMDL beginning on June 7th, 2010. Responses were accepted until July 7th, 2010.

A public meeting was held to summarize the information and to provide a forum for interested parties to ask questions and provide comments. The meeting date allowed the public time to review the document and generate questions or comments. The meeting was held in Cimarron on Thursday, June 17th from 6-8pm at the Cimarron Watershed Alliance Offices at 301 East 9th Street.

All comments and SWQB responses to the Public DRAFT version were incorporated into the Final Draft version, which was presented to the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) for approval at their regular meeting on Tuesday, August 10th, 2010.  The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reviewed the WQCC-Approved version and gave their final approval on September 3, 2010.

The Surface Water Quality Bureau (SWQB) conducted a water quality survey of the Cimarron Basin of northeastern New Mexico in 2006.  Water quality monitoring stations were located within the Cimarron Watershed to evaluate the impact of tributary streams and ambient water quality conditions.  As a result of assessing data generated during this monitoring effort, impairment determinations of New Mexico water quality standards (WQS) include the following:

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DISSOLVED ARSENIC in Cimarron River (Cimarron Village to Turkey Creek), Cimarron River (Turkey Creek to Eagle Nest Lake), and Ute Creek (Cimarron River to headwaters);

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BACTERIA (E. coli) in Cieneguilla Creek (Eagle Nest Lake to headwaters), North Ponil Creek (South Ponil Creek to Seally Canyon), Ponil Creek (US 64 to confluence of North and South Ponil), Ponil Creek (Cimarron River to US 64), Rayado Creek (Miami Lake diversion to headwaters), Sixmile Creek (Eagle Nest Lake to headwaters), and Ute Creek (Cimarron River to headwaters);

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PLANT NUTRIENTS in Cieneguilla Creek (Eagle Nest Lake to headwaters), Cimarron River (Canadian River to Cimarron Village), Cimarron River (Turkey Creek to Eagle Nest Lake), Moreno Creek (Eagle Nest Lake to headwaters), Ponil Creek (US 64 to confluence of North and South Ponil Creeks), Rayado Creek (Cimarron River to Miami Lake diversion), and Sixmile Creek (Eagle Nest Lake to headwaters); and

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TEMPERATURE in Cieneguilla Creek (Eagle Nest Lake to headwaters), Cimarron River (Cimarron Village to Turkey Creek), Moreno Creek (Eagle Nest Lake to headwaters), Rayado Creek (Miami Lake diversion to headwaters), Sixmile Creek (Eagle Nest Lake to headwaters), South Ponil Creek (Ponil Creek to Middle Ponil), and Ute Creek (Cimarron River to headwaters).

SWQB data collections documented continued impairments of the New Mexico WQS.  These are “old” impairment listings that already resulted in a TMDL but continue to be impaired based on the 2006 data and assessments include:
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TURBIDITY on Cieneguilla Creek (Eagle Nest Lake to headwaters), North Ponil Creek (South Ponil Creek to Seally Canyon), Ponil Creek (US 64 to confluence of North and South Ponil Creeks), and Sixmile Creek (Eagle Nest Lake to headwaters);

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TEMPERATURE on Middle Ponil Creek (South Ponil Creek to Greenwood Creek), North Ponil Creek (South Ponil Creek to Seally Canyon), and Ponil Creek (US 64 to confluence of North and South Ponil Creeks); and 

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SEDIMENTATION/SILTATION on Cieneguilla Creek (Eagle Nest Lake to headwaters) and Rayado Creek (Cimarron River to Miami Lake diversion).

Heidi Henderson
TMDL Development

(505) 827-2901

PDF DOWNLOADS
USEPA-Approved TMDL 2.2MB Download the 2.2 MB PDF file today...
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Bulleted item Approval Letter 219 kb Download the 219 kb PDF file today...
   
Other SWQB-Related work on the Cimarron River Watershed:
Bulleted item Cimarron Watershed-Based Plan - 2012
Bulleted item Canadian River Watershed TMDLs - Pt.2, WQCC-Approved
- 2011
Bulleted item TMDLs for the Waters of the Valle Vidal WQCC-Approved
- 2011
Bulleted item Canadian River Watershed TMDLs - Pt.1, US EPA Approved
- 2007
Bulleted item Dry Cimarron River TMDLs
US EPA Approved - 2009
Bulleted item Canadian River & Tributaries Water Quality Survey Summary - 2006 635 kb Download the 635 kb PDF file today...
Bulleted item Water Quality Assessments for Selected New Mexico Lakes including Conchas and Ute Reservoirs, Charette lakes, Lake Alice, and Lake Mayola - 2006 2.1 MB Download the 2.1 MB PDF file today...
Bulleted item Valle Vidal Water Quality Survey Summary - 2006 252 kb Download the 252 kb PDF file today...
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2005 Rationale for removal of the Chronic Aluminum TMDL for the Cimarron River (Canadian River to Turkey Creek)

78 kb Download the 78 kb PDF file today...
Bulleted item TMDL for Metals (Chronic Aluminum) in Cieneguilla Creek
- 2004
572 kb Download the 572 kb PDF file today...
Bulleted item REVISED (January 2004) TMDL for Stream Bottom Deposits, Total Phosphorus, and Turbidity in the Canadian River Basin (Cimarron) - 2004 943 kb Download the 943 kb PDF file today...
Bulleted item Canadian River Tributaries Water Quality Survey Summary- 2001 201 kb Download the 201 kb PDF file today...
Bulleted item TMDL for Metals (Chronic Aluminum) in Cieneguilla Creek
- 2001
235 kb Download the 235 kb PDF file today...
Bulleted item TMDLs For Stream Bottom Deposits In Rayado Creek And Metals (Chronic Aluminum) In The Cimarron River
- 2001
264 kb Download the 264 kb PDF file today...
Bulleted item TMDL For Temperature On Middle Ponil Creek
- 2001
2.1 MB Download the 2.1 MB PDF file today...
Bulleted item TMDL For Temperature On Ponil Creek - 2001 1.6 MB Download the 1.6 MB PDF file today...
Bulleted item TMDL for Turbidity in Middle Ponil and Ponil Creek - 2001 2.2 MB Download the 2.2 MB PDF file today...
Bulleted item TMDL For Metals (Chronic Aluminum) In Ponil Creek - 2001 2.0 MB Download the 2.0 MB PDF file today...
Bulleted item Dry Cimarron Water Quality Survey Summary- 2000 546 kb Download the 546 kb PDF file today...
Bulleted item TMDL For Temperature On North Ponil Creek Canadian River Basin (Cimarron) - 1999 2.3 MB Download the 2.3 MB PDF file today...
Bulleted item TMDL for Stream Bottom Deposits, Total Phosphorus, and Turbidity in the Canadian River Basin (Cimarron) - 1999 282 kb Download the 282 kb PDF file today...

As a result of assessing data generated during this monitoring effort, SWQB staff also documented improvements in water quality which resulted in several impairments being removed (US EPA Letter) from the 2010-2012 CWA §303(d) List of Assessed Waterbodies. These “delisted” waters include:

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ALUMINUM on Cieneguilla Creek (Eagle Nest Lake to headwaters), Cimarron River (Canadian River to Cimarron Village), Cimarron River (Cimarron Village to Turkey Creek), Ponil Creek (Cimarron River to US 64), and Ponil Creek (US 64 to confluence of North and South Ponil Creeks);

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BACTERIA (Fecal Coliform) on Cieneguilla Creek (Eagle Nest Lake to headwaters) and Moreno Creek (Eagle Nest Lake to headwaters); 

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SEDIMENTATION/SILTATION on Middle Ponil Creek (South Ponil Creek to Greenwood Creek), North Ponil Creek (South Ponil Creek to Seally Canyon), Ponil Creek (Cimarron River to US 64), and Ponil Creek (US 64 to confluence of North and South Ponil Creeks);

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TEMPERATURE on Ponil Creek (Cimarron River to US 64); and

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TURBIDITY on Middle Ponil Creek (South Ponil Creek to Greenwood Creek), Moreno Creek (Eagle Nest Lake to headwaters), and Ponil Creek (Cimarron River to US 64).

This TMDL document addresses the above noted impairments as summarized in the Executive Summary tables.  The data used to develop this TMDL were collected during the 2006 Cimarron Watershed survey with follow-up collections in 2007, 2008, and 2009.  The 2006 study identified other potential water quality impairments which are not addressed in this document.  Additional data needs for verification of those impairments are being identified and data collection will follow.  If these impairments are verified, subsequent TMDLs will be prepared in a separate TMDL document.

The SWQB’s Monitoring, Assessment & Standards Section will collect water quality data during the next rotational cycle.  The next scheduled monitoring date for the Cimarron Watershed is 2016 at which time TMDL targets will be re-examined and potentially revised as this document is considered to be an evolving management plan.  In the event that new data indicate that the targets used in this analysis are not appropriate and/or if new standards are adopted, the load capacity will be adjusted accordingly. When water quality standards have been achieved, the reach will be moved to the appropriate category in the State's CWA §303(d)/§305(b) Integrated Report.

The SWQB’s Watershed Protection Section will continue to work with watershed groups to develop Watershed-Based Plans to implement strategies that attempt to correct the water quality impairments detailed in this document.  Implementation of items detailed in the Watershed-Based Plans will be done with participation of all interested and affected parties.

The full 178-page US EPA-Approved document with its six appendices is now available as either a single master file (2.2 MB PDF) or nineteen individual interlinked Adobe® Acrobat® sections for more convenient downloading:

Front Page & Table of Contents 572 kb Download the 572 kb PDF file today...
Executive Summary 112 kb Download the 112 kb PDF file today...
1. Introduction 67 kb Download the 67 kb PDF file today...
2. Cimarron River Watershed Characteristics 603 kb Download the 603 kb PDF file today...
3. Arsenic 140 kb Download the 140 kb PDF file today...
4. Bacteria 126 kb Download the 126 kb PDF file today...
5. Plant Nutrients 201 kb Download the 201 kb PDF file today...
6. Temperature 396 kb Download the 396 kb PDF file today...
7. Monitoring Plan 76 kb Download the 76 kb PDF file today...
8. Implementation of TMDLs 35 kb Download the 35 kb PDF file today...
9. Applicable Regulations and Stakeholder Assurances 31 kb Download the 31 kb PDF file today...
10. Public Participation 28 kb Download the 28 kb PDF file today...
11. References 33 kb Download the 33 kb PDF file today...
Appendix A: Conversion Factor Derivation 74 kb Download the 74 kb PDF file today...
Appendix B: Probable Sources of Impairment 335 kb Download the 335 kb PDF file today...
Appendix C: Thermograph Summary Data and Graphics 133 kb Download the 133 kb PDF file today...
Appendix D: Hydrology, Geometry, and Meteorological Input Data for SSTEMP 160 kb Download the 160 kb PDF file today...
Appendix E: Public Participation Flowchart 166 kb Download the 166 kb PDF file today...
Appendix F: Response to Comments 170 kb Download the 170 kb PDF file today...
   
SPECIAL NOTICE:

In previous DRAFT versions of the Cimarron River Watershed TMDL, the NPDES permit number for Angel Fire was listed as NM0028011 in Table 4.7 and in textual references on pp. 43 and 59. These citations were incorrect. Any reference to NM0028011 in this TMDL should actually refer to NPDES Permit Number NM0030503. NMED-SWQB regrets this editing error.

A TMDL is a planning document that establishes specific goals to meet water quality standards in waterbodies where pollutant limits are exceeded. It includes current pollution loadings, reduction estimates for pollutants, information on probable sources of pollution, and suggestions to restore or protect the health of the waterbody.

For more information, please contact Heidi Henderson at the address or phone number provided above.

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