National Water Quality Initiative – Garcia River Watersheds – Fiscal Year 2012
The California Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Fiscal Year 2012 has identified small watersheds targeted for financial and technical assistance through a water quality initiative funded under the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP). This initiative is intended to support producers willing to implement water quality conservation practices in targeted watersheds. Agricultural operators within Upper Garcia River and Middle Garcia River watersheds are eligible to apply for the initiative; please refer to the map of the eligible Garcia River watersheds.
The National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) will assist producers to address high priority water resource concerns in small watersheds with streams or water bodies in one or more of the following categories: (1) Impaired – A stream or water body documented to be impaired, and identified on a State's 303(d) list of impaired waters as designated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EQP); (2) Threatened – A stream or water body with water quality data documenting an impairment, but does not have a Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) implementation plan and is not listed on the 303(d) list of impaired waters as designated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EQP); (3) Total Maximum Daily Loads – A stream or water body that has been on the Environmental Protection Agency's 303(d) list of impaired waters, but may have been removed because there is a having a TMDL plan for implementation; and (4) Critical – a stream or water body upstream of an impaired segment or area, and is known to be a contributing source of the downstream impairment for a stream in one or more of the three categories above.
The Clean Water Act requires states, territories, and authorized tribes to develop lists of impaired waters. These are waters that are too polluted or otherwise degraded to meet the water quality standards set by states, territories, or authorized tribes. The law requires that these jurisdictions establish priority rankings for waters on the lists and develop "Total Maximum Daily Loads" (TMDLs) for these waters. A TMDL is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a body of water can receive and still safely meet water quality standards (http://www.epa.gov/region9/water/tmdl/final.html).
According to, "Action Plan for the Garcia River Watershed Sediment Total Maximum Daily Load," (http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/northcoast/water_issues/programs/tmdls/garcia_river/):
On March 7, 2002, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the TMDL submitted by the State of California, for the Garcia River. The Garcia River is the first listed watershed to have an approved implementation plan and is being closely watched by the EPA as an important pilot project for watershed scale restoration and is included in the EPA's list of "Measure W" watersheds, also known as the Watershed Improvement Measure (WIM). The measure tracks watersheds where water quality conditions have improved by utilizing a watershed approach. Sediment source analysis conducted as part of the TMDL found that the greatest amount of annual sediment loads were coming from roads. Because of this, all landowners in the watershed have been required to submit Erosion Control Plans (ECPs) to the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (NCRWQCB) that include a road survey that identifies controllable sources of existing and future sediment.
The approved practice list is included in this document and installation will follow NRCS guidelines. Applications will be screened and ranked using factors that measure the projected environmental benefits to surface water quality. Screening and ranking criteria are also included in this document. Applications for the National Water Quality Initiative will be evaluated based on the screening and local, state and national ranking criteria. A Screening Worksheet must be completed for each eligible EQIP application.
Where to Apply
For application assistance or for more information regarding the National Water Quality Initiative contact your local NRCS field office, which can be obtained at the NRCS California web site: http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=ca.
Application Period 1 - All eligible "High" priority applications received by the deadline of May 18, 2012 will be ranked and be pre-approved for funding.
Application Period 2 - From Monday, May 21, 2012 to Friday, June 15, 2012. All eligible "High" or "Medium" priority applications received by the deadline of June 15, 2012, including any unfunded "High" priority applications from the first application period, will be ranked and be pre-approved for funding.
Note: Low priority applications will not be ranked.
Program applications are accepted on a continuous basis; but, to be eligible for the National Water Quality Initiative a complete application must be submitted to the local NRCS office by close-of-business (COB) May 18, 2012 to be considered in Ranking Period 1 and by June 15, 2012 to be considered in Ranking Period 2.
Incomplete applications may be re-submitted for the next ranking and funding period. For application assistance or for more information regarding the California programs county and statewide initiatives contact your closest NRCS office, which can be obtained at the NRCS California web site: http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=ca.
Area of Program Eligibility
Approved Practice List, Screening and Ranking Criteria
The following document requires