New York State (NYS) implemented a ban on phosphorus-containing residential fertilizers in 2016 and will continue its active enforcement/surveillance program to monitor the compliance of residential fertilizer retailers.
New York State has established and implemented various programs and initiatives to research water quality issues throughout the state relating to Harmful Algal Blooms. New York State is also committed to participating in the Great Lakes Water Quality Act’s (GLWQA) Annex 4 Cladophora initiatives and research. New York will continue ongoing research efforts on algal blooms both within Lake Erie and other New York waters.
The Lake Erie watershed has been identified through New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Clean Water Planning Initiative as a high priority for water quality improvement, and Lake Erie is currently the focus of binational efforts under Annex 4 (Nutrients) of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) to assess and reduce nutrient loadings. The objectives of this project are:
- To collect baseline nutrient and sediment water quality data along with discharge that can be used for model development;
- To develop a watershed model that will help focus future water quality improvement efforts in the basin, and;
- Aid in loading calculation and future regional target-setting efforts for nutrient reduction.
New York State was not required to prepare a Domestic Action Plan (DAP), as binational phosphorus targets have not been established for the eastern basin under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA). However, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will develop a Nine Element Plan to maintain the “Interim Substance Objective for Total Phosphorous Concentration in Open Waters of Eastern Basin of Lake Erie.”
Only a small portion (about 7 percent) of the Maumee watershed lies within Michigan’s borders. Michigan is partnering with Indiana, Ohio, the U.S. EPA, and the U.S. Geological Survey to ensure appropriate monitoring of the watershed. Though continued monitoring is needed, initial monitoring and analysis has revealed that certain parts of the Maumee watershed in Michigan have higher phosphorus concentrations than others.
The St. Marys River Watershed Initiative is a paired watershed monitoring and soil health monitoring project.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy will support the development and implementation of approved watershed management plans (WMPs) in Michigan’s portion of the Maumee River watershed and Michigan's watersheds that discharge directly into western Lake Erie.
The Allen County Soil and Water Conservation District, in partnership with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture will develop, promote, and implement a phosphorus risk reduction pilot program for agricultural best management practices (BMPs) in critical area subwatersheds in the Upper Maumee River watershed.
Routine inspections of regulated operations regarding nutrient management and timely investigations of runoff from unregulated farms will ensure compliance with Indiana's confined feeding operation (CFO) and Fertilizer Certification rules.
In rural landscapes, install two-stage ditches where feasible on both regulated and non-regulated drains.
Septic system installation, operation, maintenance, and repair will follow site-specific design regulations. Septic system failure rates will be tracked.
The Adams County Regional Sewer District (RSD) is extending sewers to the communities of Pleasant Mills, Arcadia Village, Rivare, Linn Grove, and Monmouth/Roe Acres.
Indiana has 12 municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) in the Lake Erie basin, all of which have approved Storm Water Quality Management Plans (SWQMPs), as required by Indiana's general MS4 permit.
Communities with combined sewer systems will implement Long-Term Control Plans (LTCPs) to reduce the frequency and volume of combined sewer overflow (CSO) events.
Current operation and maintenance processes will be analyzed to seek opportunities for better nutrient removal.
Combined sanitary sewage and stormwater runoff that would otherwise be discharged to the St. Marys and Maumee Rivers will be collected and temporarily stored in an approximately 5-mile long tunnel. The combined sewage and stormwater will be treated after the wet weather event has ended and the wastewater treatment plant has sufficient capacity.
This is a partnership among USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Department of Natural & Applied Sciences, Purdue University's Department of Agronomy, and the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Water Science Centers in New York and Wisconsin. The partners will conduct soil health assessments in conjunction with edge-of-field (EoF) water quality monitoring projects established in the GLRI Priority Watersheds. The long-term goal of the project is to document and help build understanding of the relationships between soil health conservation practices and water quality effects of those. The focus of this project is to establish:
- standardized, in-field soil health monitoring protocols for USGS EoF sites
- to create a robust baseline dataset of soil health at USGS EoF sites
- to connect field-scale soil health parameters with the water quality leaving these fields.
The U.S. EPA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are working on a variety of activities to monitor and asses water quality, while also working to develop tools to forecast harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.
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.