Specific activities identified by Lake Erie states, the province, and federal governments within Domestic Action Plans are tracked on ErieStat as Investments.  Tracking these investments will enable the adaptive management of phosphorus control efforts and eventually, provide “big picture” views of phosphorus control Progress.

Investments made in the Lake Erie basin to control phosphorus aren’t expressed only as dollars – it’s also the programs implemented and the people and organizations who implement them. Investments include on-the-ground practices, research and monitoring, infrastructure upgrades, and outreach and education.

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Pennsylvania: NPDES point source permitting considerations

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) implements the EPA-delegated point source National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. The central and field PADEP offices take on different roles to develop the program and issue permits and then conduct necessary monitoring and enforcement activities for issued permits.

Pennsylvania: NPDES MS4 permitting considerations

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) published a final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Small MS4s in 2016. MS4s refer to municipal separate storm sewer systems, which discharge untreated stormwater to receiving waters.

Pennsylvania: NPDES erosion and sediment control permitting considerations

To reduce erosion and sediment pollution from earth disturbance activities (i.e., construction), regulations require National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for new development, which include standards and criteria for minimizing erosion and post-construction stormwater management.

Pennsylvania: Act 537 sewage facilities planning program

The Act 537 Program is generally administered by local entities and covers any sewage facility, whether it is a municipally-owned plant or an on-lot disposal system (septic system). Malfunctioning systems, regardless of type, pose a threat to public health and the environment.

Pennsylvania: Manure and Nutrient Management Plans

All farming operations in Pennsylvania that land-apply manure or agricultural process wastewater or include an animal concentration area or pasture are required to develop and implement a written Manure Management Plan, kept on the farm and made available upon request.

Pennsylvania: Agricultural erosion and sediment control

Pennsylvania farms that disturb 5,000 square feet or greater via plowing and tilling and/or animal heavy use areas (AHUAs) are required to develop and implement a written Agricultural Erosion and Sediment Control plan to reduce erosion.

Pennsylvania: Coastal zone management program

The Coastal Resources Management Program (CRM) was federally approved in 1980 and includes a wide variety of projects, including those that address phosphorus reductions and harmful algal blooms.

Pennsylvania: Urban stormwater management and green infrastructure initiatives

Possible partnerships to encourage municipal stormwater management coordination may use the cross-municipal expertise of Councils of Governments (regional planning groups) as well as Erie County government resources such as the Erie County Department of Planning and Erie County Conservation District.

United States: WLEB Initiative

The Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) Initiative is a coordinated strategy, led by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), using funding from multiple Farm Bill programs and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to double the number of acres under conservation in the WLEB.

United States: RCPP Tri-State Western Lake Erie Basin Phosphorus Reduction Initiative

The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) led by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, was created by the 2014 Farm Bill to promote partnerships in conservation. Under the RCPP, more than 40 partners in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana formed the Tri-State Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) Phosphorus Reduction Initiative.

United States: GLRI ag nonpoint source projects

Under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), U.S. EPA issues grants to state and local partners to implement watershed management and domestic action plans to reduce nutrient loading from agricultural lands.

A major priority of the GLRI is to reduce harmful algae in the nearshore areas of Green Bay, Saginaw Bay and Western Lake Erie basin. Projects will target best management practices to critical source areas to achieve phosphorus reduction goals.

For more information, visit www.glri.us

United States: GLRI urban nonpoint source projects

Under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), federal agencies and their partners fund urban watershed management projects that will treat, slow, or capture untreated stormwater runoff, helping to improve water quality conditions.

Emphasis is on implementation of green infrastructure practices to reduce stormwater runoff from urban areas. These projects also reduce flooding, increase green space in urban areas, and return vacant properties to productive use.

United States: ARS edge of field water quality research

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the USDA works to determine the effectiveness of various conservation practices by monitoring changes in nutrient losses from fields over time. This type of research is often referred to as "edge-of-field" monitoring since it characterizes nutrients, including phosphorus, leaving the field. The ARS participates in Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) and, as an extension of CEAP, operates an extensive network of edge-of-field monitoring sites.

United States: Great Lakes Tributary Monitoring Program

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) conducts monitoring to track changes and identify long-term trends in nutrient and sediment loads to the Great Lakes in 26 major tributaries across the basin.  Eight of these tributaries drain directly to Lake Erie, and two others drain to the St. Clair – Detroit River System.