State of New Mexico > Environment Department > Surface Water Quality Bureau

Surface Water Quality Bureau
Monitoring, Assessment & Standards

US EPA-Approved TMDL
for Waters of the Valle Vidal

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LaBelle Creek, October 2006...  Download the 1.5 MB PDF today!

Heidi Henderson
TMDL Development

(505) 827-2901

EPA-Approved TMDL 1.5MB Download the 1.5 MB PDF file today...
bulleted item... Approval Letter 182 kb Download the 182 kb PDF file today...
EPA's ONRW Approval 50 kb Download the 50 kb PDF file today...
2006 Survey Summary 259kb Download the 259 kb PDF file today...

The Surface Water Quality Bureau (SWQB) conducted a water quality survey of the Valle Vidal Basin of north-central New Mexico in 2006. Water quality monitoring stations were located within the watershed to evaluate the impact of tributary streams and ambient water quality conditions as well as to collect baseline data on the Valle Vidal after its nomination as an Outstanding National Resource Water (ONRW). The waters of the Valle Vidal were nominated as ONRWs in 2005 by three state agencies with full support from a coalition of 250 local governments, businesses and organizations. The nomination recognized the exceptional recreational and ecological significance of the area, and sought to provide further incentive to maintain water quality into the future for the benefit of humans and wildlife. The Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) held a public hearing and approved the designation in December 2005. EPA approval followed in June 2006.

The Valle Vidal Watershed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) includes a package of five integrated TMDL planning documents for plant nutrients in Middle Ponil Creek and temperature exceedances in Gold, Holman, LaBelle, and North Ponil Creeks. SWQB announced a 30-Day Public Comment Period for the DRAFT Waters of the Valle Vidal TMDL beginning on June 6th, 2011. Responses were accepted until 4:00PM MDT July 8th, 2011.

Public meetings were held in Tucumcari, and Mora to summarize the information and to provide a forum for interested parties to ask questions and provide comments. The meeting dates allowed the public time to review the document and generate questions or comments. The public meeting in Tucumcari was held on Wednesday, June 15th from 6-8pm in the Liberty Room of the Tucumcari Territorial Building, 1500 W. Historic Route 66. The meeting in Mora was held on Tuesday, June 21 from 11am to 1pm in the Mora Independent School District Board Room, Highway 518, Mile Marker 29.5. The meeting in Raton was scheduled to be held on Tueday, June 21, from 5:00 to 7:00pm in the City of Raton Commission Room, 224 Savage Avenue.  However, due to a large wildfire on the New Mexico-Colorado border very near Raton, the meeting was subsequently cancelled.

The Public Comment DRAFT TMDL was made available for a 30-day comment period beginning on June 6, 2011 and ended July 8, 2011.  A public meeting was held at the Mora Independent School District Board Room on June 21, 2011.  No written public comments were received.  The Final DRAFT version was presented to the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) for approval at their regular meeting on Tuesday, September 13th, 2011.  Subsequent approval was granted on Friday, September 30, 2011.  The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reviewed the WQCC-Approved version and forwarded their approval letter on November 8, 2011.

The Monitoring, Assessment and Standards Section will collect water quality data during the next rotational cycle.  The next scheduled monitoring date for the Valle Vidal Watershed is 2016-2017 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 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.

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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