Aquatic Beneficial Use Impairments – The Process

Photo of 2018 AOC workshopThe MAAC subcommittee has been hard at work to identify Management Action Projects to address the aquatic Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs). These BUIs are as follows:

  • BUI 3a: Degradation of Fish Populations
  • BUI 6: Degradation of Benthos
  • BUI14a: Loss of Fish Habitat

Over the course of the last two years (2018-2019), professionals representing nonprofit groups, independent consulting firms, and government agencies from around the AOC have been meeting to identify projects and strategies for addressing these BUIs. The process began with two day-long workshops, where participants provided their expertise to help identify primary problems and a list of potential solutions for each hydrologic unit within the AOC. Following these workshops, smaller, more focused subcommittee meetings were held frequently to allow for the discussion required to draft a comprehensive project list. This work will continue into 2020.

The steps/tasks that the subcommittee is using are detailed in sequential order below.

  1. Identify hydrologic units where additional information on BUI status is needed and assess whether MAAC-recommended Evaluation Projects will meet this need.
  2. Identify hydrologic units where a habitat and/or aquatic community score(s) need to be raised.
  3. Identify the specific restoration need for each hydrologic unit based on specific scores and other relevant information.
  4. Assess whether current MAAC-recommended Management Action Projects will achieve BUI targets in given hydrologic units, and whether project enhancements should be made.
  5. Develop (as a group) and prioritize additional viable Management Action Projects where needed.
  6. Propose additional Management Action Projects to the MAAC (2020).
  7. MAAC will propose an agreed upon project list to Ohio EPA.
  8. Ohio EPA will review the list & forward recommendations to US EPA, who will approve the list.
  9. Management Action Projects approved by US EPA will be funded as budgets allow.
  10. Work on funded projects work will be carried out by individual project leads.