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PUBLIC COMMENT DRAFT
REPORT SUPPORTING WATER QUALITY STANDARDS CHANGES (UAA) FOR SMELTER TAILINGS SOILS INVESTIGATION UNIT DRAINAGES IN THE CHINO MINE INVESTIGATION AREA, GRANT COUNTY, NEW MEXICO

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NMED-SWQB requested public comment on a report that may be used to support amendments to surface water quality standards for five drainages within the Chino Mine Investigation Area, Grant County, New Mexico. The amendments would change the drainages to unclassified ephemeral waters subject to §20.6.4.97 NMAC, from their current status as default unclassified nonperennial waters subject to §20.6.4.98 NMAC.  

Unclassified nonperennial waters are by default subject to §20.6.4.98 NMAC, with designated uses of marginal warmwater aquatic life, primary contact, wildlife habitat, and livestock watering. In November, 2012, Chino Mines Company provided a report to the Department, Application of the Hydrology Protocol to Smelter Tailings Soils Investigation Unit (STSIU) Drainages. The Department has reviewed the report, which includes a Use Attainability Analysis (UAA), based on the Department’s “Hydrology Protocol”, and finds that Clean Water Act §101(a)(2) uses of primary contact and marginal warmwater aquatic life are not attainable in five STSIU drainages, and that the highest attainable uses are limited aquatic life and secondary contact.

In accordance with 20.6.4.15.C, the Department is releasing this report for a 30-day public review which will end at 5 PM on February 14, 2013.  After consideration of public comments, the Department may proceed by submitting the report and response to comments to the US Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 (EPA) for technical approval. If EPA grants approval, the waters will be considered unclassified ephemeral waters subject to §20.6.4.97 NMAC. The report and UAA, the technical approval, and the applicability of §20.6.4.97 NMAC to the waters will be posted on the Department’s water quality standards website. The Department will periodically petition the Water Quality Control Commission to list ephemeral waters under Subsection C of 20.6.4.97 NMAC and to incorporate changes to classified segments in the water quality standards regulations as appropriate.

Kris Pintado
Standards Coordinator
(505) 827-2822

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Public Comment Report - w/Appendices 21 MB Download the 21 MB PDF file today...
Public Comment Report 2.1 MB Download the 2.1 MB PDF file today...
Bulleted item Appendix A 1.6 MB Download the 1.6 MB PDF file today...
Bulleted item Appendix B 2.2 MB Download the 2.2 MB PDF file today...
Bulleted item Appendix C 2.6 MB Download the 2.6 MB PDF file today...
Bulleted item Appendix D 3.9 MB Download the 3.9 MB PDF file today...
Bulleted item Appendix E 2.5 MB Download the 2.5 MB PDF file today...
Bulleted item Appendix F 2.2 MB Download the 2.2 MB PDF file today...
Bulleted item Appendix G 4.0 MB Download the 4.0 MB PDF file today...

MORE AT SWQB...

Use Attainability Analyses
Approved Hydrology Protocol UAA Listings
Bulleted Item... Hydrology Protocol
DRAFT Chino Mines Investigation Area
Current Public DRAFT Hydrology Protocal UAAs
Free Resources

MORE AT US EPA...

UAA Website
131.10 (g) Factors
UAAs in WQS Handbook

For more information, please contact Kris Pintado, New Mexico's Water Quality Standards Coordinator, at the New Mexico Environment Department, Surface Water Quality Bureau, P.O. Box 5469, Santa Fe, NM 87502, or by email at Kristine.Pintado@state.nm.us.

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