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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Water Quality - Nutrient Criteria

Water Quality

Nutrient Over-Enrichment

North Carolina Nutrient Criteria Development Plan

The Division of Water Resources (DWR) submitted a revised Nutrient Criteria Development Plan (NCDP) to EPA on March 4, 2014. All comments received were considered. Waterbody-specific comments will be considered by advisory and stakeholder groups. EPA is reviewing the NCDP. Implementation will begin after EPA agreement. If you have questions, please contact Steve Kroeger at steve.kroeger@ncdenr.gov.

 

***  NUTRIENT CRITERIA DEVELOPMENT SCHEDULE  ***

  • May 29 - 30, 2012 North Carolina Forum on Nutrient Over-Enrichment
  • December 4, 2012  - February 4, 2013 Public comment periods (compilation of public comments)
  • December 4, 2012 Public input meeting in Raleigh, NC 
  • December 12, 2012 Public input meeting in Huntersville, NC 
  • December 17, 2012 Public input meeting in Wilmington, NC 
  • April 17, 2013 Draft NC NCDP out for public review (INFORMATION BELOW)
  • May 9, 2013 Draft NC NCDP presentation to the EMC
  • May 24, 2013 Public comment period ends - Public Comments
  • September 12, 2013  Present NCDP update to EMC - Presentation
  • September 25, 2013  Commenter meeting - Presentation, Updated Draft
  • February 14, 2014  Comment period ends
  • March 4, 2014  Submit NCDP to EPA Region 4
  • Begin criteria development 
  • More information on the NC NCDP can be found Here

 

 

Additional Information

The NC NCDP will be a series of prioritized projects (or studies), each of which will be targeted at development of nutrient criteria and will include questions to be answered, methods to be used, timelines and milestones to be met. Nutrient criteria, for these purposes, encompass more than just the causal variables: nitrogen and phosphorus. For the NC NCDP, response variables such as algae, chlorophyll a, dissolved oxygen, and total organic carbon will be included.

A work group of DWR staff from Standards, Permitting, Monitoring, and the Raleigh Regional Office are using the directives from the Nutrient Forum panelists to assist in identifying possible projects that would lead to adoption of additional nutrient criteria.

The projects will be shaped by the Nutrient Forum, public input, and activities going on around the nation. The plan will:

  • Highlight and enhance North Carolina’s current approaches to nutrient management
  • Provide for exploration of site-specific and waterbody type- specific approaches
  • Provide for exploration of built-in protection and prevention
  • Include review of a variety of possible criteria including response variables like benthic macroinvertebrates, periphyton, continuous dissolved oxygen, total organic carbon, algal densities and causal variables like nitrogen and phosphorus, and
  • Involve all stakeholders

North Carolina’s first Nutrient Criteria Implementation Plan was agreed upon with EPA in 2004 and can be found by going to the following link HERE and scrolling down to “ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND INFORMATION FOR NC’s NUTRIENT CRITERIA IMPLEMENTATION PLAN" This page also includes additional information regarding EPA’s Ecoregional Nutrient Criteria and correspondence with the division.

 

NC Nutrient Forum Information

The North Carolina Forum On Nutrient Over-Enrichment was held May 29 - 30, 2012. Like other states, North Carolina has experienced the effects of nutrient pollution in our surface waters–particularly in our lakes and estuaries–and we are searching for new approaches to address the challenge. In order to better inform the wise development of regulations or other policy responses to this challenge, the NC Division of Water Resources and the Environmental Management Commission hosted this forum to provide state and local leaders, managers, and planners with a well-balanced review of the science, regulatory issues, economic considerations, and other policy issues related to nutrient over-enrichment and options for avoiding impairment to our surface waters. For more information click here.

Who Attended

  • State and Local Leaders, Managers, and Planners
  • Local Governments, City Managers, Public Utility Directors
  • State and Federal Agencies
  • Major NPDES Permit Holders, Business, and Industries
  • Leaders of Non-governmental Organization

     


 

 

July 2012 algal bloom, Cape Fear River

 

 

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