2002 Minutes

Back to Nutrient Criteria Committee Home Page

Over to NCC 2003 Minutes 

Table of Contents:


Minutes of the Meeting of

 WV Environmental Quality Board’s

Nutrient Criteria Committee

 June 6, 2002


 Environmental Quality Board and Staff (first part only):  Dr. David Samuels, Becky Charles, Libby Chatfield.

 Committee Members: Pat Bowen (NRCS), Tom Brand (WVDA), John Rowe (WVDF), Martin Christ (WVRC), Michael Hawranick (WVBPH), John Wirts (DWR), Wayne Appleton (WVMA and WVCC), Neil Gillies (Cacapon Institute), Kathy Rushworth (MWQA), Rodney Branson (WVFB), Larry Emerson (WVCA), Tiffany Crawford (USEPA).

 Alternates: Evan Hansen (WVRC), Luke Richmond (MWA), Rick Heaslip (NRCS)

 Others:  Bob Williams, Liz Appel, Tim Ballon, Lisa Balderson, Paul Barnette, Ron Evaldi


Material passed out 

1.      Proposed agenda for meeting

2.      Charge to the Committee

3.      November 14, 2001, Memo from Geoffry Grubbs to Directors, State Water Programs, and others.

4.      Responses to [request for] Attendance at First Committee Meeting

5.      Federal Register material from EPA’s website concerning preparation of Ecoregional Nutrient Criteria.[2]

6.      Page of EPA website with links for nutrient criteria[3]

 There were two parts to this meeting. In part I, Dr. David Samuels of the EQB introduced the charge and made introductory remarks.  In part II, the Nutrient Criteria Committee (NCC) followed the proposed agenda and made several decisions.

 I.  Introductory Remarks 

1.      All in attendance introduced themselves.  Groups clarified their primary committee members and their alternates.  Kathy Rushworth is the committee member for the Municipal Water Association and Luke Richmond is the Alternate.  Martin Christ is the committee member for WV Rivers Coalition, and Evan Hansen is the alternate.

2.      Dr. Samuels pointed out that the NCC needed to appoint a record keeper for this particular meeting.  Dr. Christ volunteered, and was accepted as clerk for the meeting.

3.      Libby Chatfield of EQB reviewed the charge to the NCC, and pointed out the justification outlined in the EPA memo by Geoffrey Grubbs.

4.      Tiffany Crawford reviewed likely release dates for the nutrient database being prepared by a consultant to the EPA.  The data concerning rivers and streams for WV should be available by mid-July.  Ms. Crawford also agreed to provide links to the EPA’s Technical Guidance Documents (see handout #6).

5.      Dr. Samuels reviewed the agenda.  There was a special request to report to  the EQB office any expect expenses, such as photocopying.  Ms. Crawford invited the NCC to generate a letter requesting support for the project.

6.      Becky Charles, counsel for the EQB, and Dr. Samuels reviewed the requirements of the Open Meetings Law for the NCC:

·        All meetings of the NCC must be open.

·        EQB will take care of required announcements of NCC meetings.

·        Subcommittees, whose work might be hindered by requiring announcement of meetings, may not make decisions on behalf of the committee, including decisions about filtering information to be brought to the NCC.

·        Public notice must be published for 5 days before the meetings.  The State Register has a deadline of Wednesday for publication the following Monday.[4]

·        The EQB recommends the practice of deliberating with limited interruption, and then opening the floor to any audience members.

7.      Dr. Samuels urged the committee to seek consensus, and cooperate for the sake of the welfare of West Virginia’s citizens, businesses, and environment.

 II. The Nutrient Criteria Committee’s deliberations.

Naming a chair:  It was moved, seconded, and passed without dissent that Tom Brand should chair the current meeting.

Review of agenda:  Item 10 was moved to the end of the meeting, so that information generated could immediately be relayed to the EQB office.  The selection of a meeting schedule (item 5) was also deferred.

1.      Questions on the charge:  The NCC observed that the first phase of the process has the task of recommending a plan for identifying nutrient criteria, rather than of choosing actual numbers.  The fact that the EPA database is not yet ready, therefore, is probably no obstacle to the Committee’s work.

2.      Taking minutes:  The Committee determined that it would be best if someone from outside the committee could be hired to take minutes, or could take minutes as part of their job.  John Wirts volunteered staff from the WVDEP-DWR.

3.      Location of meetings:  It was recognized that the distance for travel across WV were an obstacle to good participation.  It was agreed to hold the next meeting in the WV Farm Bureau offices in Buckhannon, and to look into teleconferencing possibilities for later meetings.

4.      Decision making structure:  The Committee agreed to seek complete consensus on every issue.  In the event that no consensus is reached, alternative views are to be recorded and scientifically explained in the written document.  The names of the Committee members’ organizations will be associated with the view they espouse.

The Committee also determined that it should select a Committee member as chair, but that it should be able to procure a facilitator should discussion become heated.  Ms. Crawford offered some assistance by the EPA.

Tom Brand was chosen unanimously as chair during the time the NCC develops the plan for the development of nutrient criteria.

5.      The scheduling of the next meeting was deferred until the end of this meeting.

6.      Role of alternates:  The Committee agreed that alternates were invited to sit at the table and participate in deliberations, to work on the tasks of subcommittees, and to vote for the organization they represent in the absence of the Committee member.

7.      Protocol for obtaining and analyzing data:  The Committee agreed that:

·        The limitations of data (detection limits, analytical methods used) must be included with any data used by the group.

·        Committee members would send out calls for additional data and analysis to groups they represent.

·        Committee members would send out calls for additional data and analysis to faculty at WV colleges and universities.

·        A committee, led by John Wirts, would serve to keep track of all the data to be examined by the committee.

8.      Subcommittee Topics and organization. Committee members volunteered, and were approved, for the following tasks:

·        Kathy Rushworth:  Document Committee--will serve as repository for pieces of the report as it gets written.

·        Wayne Appleton:  Distill EPA’s Technical Reports to determine their usefulness for the NCC in determining nutrient criteria.

·        Martin Christ:  Designated Use section committee.  Write and present section enumerating Designated Uses to be protected with nutrient criteria.

·        John Wirts:  Data inventory task, as described in item 7.

9.      Decisions concerning open meetings:  the Committee reiterated the open meeting concerns     described in Part I of the meeting.

10.  Writing Assignments were assigned according to the committee assignments, above.

11.  Expenses:  The Committee recognized the following justifiable expenses for its work:  travel and per diem for those whose organizations could not support their participation in the NCC; a facilitator when necessary; rental of meeting space; costs for obtaining publications; mailing costs; photocopying, and costs associated with data compilation.  Pat Bowen agreed to prepare a rough budget for a request for support to the EPA.

NEXT MEETING:  The next meeting was set for Friday, June 28, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the WV Farm Bureau Office in Buckhannon.

[1] Abbreviations:  MWQA-Municipal Water Quality Association; NRCS-Natural Resources Conservation Service; WVDA-WV Department of Agriculture; WVDF-WV Division of Forestry; WVRC-West Virginia Rivers Coalition; WVBPH- WV Bureau for Public Health; DWR-WVDEP Division of Water Resources; WVMA-WV Manufacturer’s Association; WVCC-WV Chamber of Commerce; WVFB-WV Farm Bureau; WVCA-WV Coal Association.

[2] http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-WATER/2001/January/Day-09/w569.htm

[3] http://www.epa.gov/ost/standards/nutrient.html

[4] See WV Secretary of State’s website.

Back to Top


Approved Minutes of the Meeting of

 WV Environmental Quality Board’s

Nutrient Criteria Committee

 June 28, 2002


 Committee Members: Pat Bowen (NRCS), Tom Brand (Potomac State College of WVU), John Rowe (WVDF), Martin Christ (WVRC), Michael Hawranick (WVBPH), Wayne Appleton (WVMA and WVCC), Neil Gillies (Cacapon Institute), Kathy Rushworth (MWQA), Rodney Branson (WVFB), Tiffany Crawford (USEPA), Kim Miller (USGS), Randy Sovic (DWR)

Alternates: John Wirts (DWR),Evan Hansen (WVRC),Matt Monroe (WVDA), Alvan Gale (DWR), Rick Heaslip (NRCS), Ron Evaldi (USGS), Randy Maggard (WVCA)

Others:  Roger Sherman, Richard Herd, Randolph Ramsey, Jeffery Foster, Marc Harman, June Degraft-Hanson

Material passed out

  1.      Proposed agenda for meeting

  1. Minutes from June 6th, 2002 meeting

  2. Summary of grant approved by VEE for Rivers Coalition

  3. Nutrient Criteria Plan Quick Points

  4. Prelim report on NRI data – NRCS

  5. Draft Guidelines Summary

  6. USGS Nutrient data

  7. Potential Designated Uses

 Introduction:   All in attendance introduced themselves. 

 1. Review of Agenda Additional Agenda items:

    1. Unfinished business – note taker

    2. VEE grant update

    3. Video teleconferencing


  1. Review and acceptance of revision of June 6th, 2002, minutes
    1. Corrections of minutes from June 6th meeting

                                                               i.      “Municipal” instead of “Metropolitan” for MWQA

                                                             ii.      “data” instead of “date”

    1. Neil re-stated where to find draft minutes www.cacaponinstitute.com/nutrient_criteria_committee.htm
    2. Minutes were approved with corrections

 Unfinished Business

 VEE Grant

Evan Hanson – went over VEE’s approval of Rivers Coalition $ 14 k grant request

            Review and analysis of available nutrient data and assured group that this grant

            was secured to aid this committee in its endeavors

-         Neil Gillies mentioned that Kentucky has established periphyton sampling program and asked Evan and Martin Christ to summarize their educational background. 

Video Teleconferencing

Pat Bowen stated that the WVU’s Extension Service offers “interactive video networking”       $ 60 / hour / location  - several sites available

Randy Sovic went over EQB discussion of funding for committee expenses.  Letter forwarded to EPA.  Pat Bowen drafted letter.  Came up w/ $20k.

Unfinished business from last meeting:  Martin Christ went over need to address FOIA requests.  Group decided that EQB would deal with any FOIA’s.  Kathy Rushworth reminded group that she would forward all handouts to the board.  Motion made, seconded, and approved that  “Our policy will be to keep and supply all materials to the EQB in the case of any requests for information” 

Note Taker

Tom Brand offered to get someone from the university at no cost, did not have specific person yet.  Preference was for staff rather than student. 

Randy Sovic stated the benefits of utilizing EQB’s technical advisor.  Several advantages as well as concerns with having Libby Chatfield as the note taker were expressed. 

Evan Hanson recommended a standing invitation to Libby to attend these meetings as technical expert, not as note taker – no objections.

                                    (Tiffany Crawford arrived at this point)

Group reiterated that we will invite Libby to participate in the meetings while taking up Tom Brand’s offer of supplying a note taker.  Motion passed unanimously.

 Informational Presentations

     1.      USGS data – Ron Evaldi

USGS Basin –wide approach to data.  Discussed compilation of data from different sources.  He felt that we should create GIS coverages at a minimum.

 Talked about difficulties of using results of “less than minimum detection limits” or censored data. 

 ENSR database should be available soon, question arose: Why are we bothering with this effort of compiling data if it has already been done? 

 Martin Christ and Neil Gillies lead discussion of appropriate forms of nitrogen and phosphorus to sample.  Nitrate and Ammonia are most important locally, while total N is important when considering downstream effects.  Also need to be concerned with the amount of nitrogen bound in existing algae and bedload, as well as cycling through the system

2.      Plan Development Guidelines – Tiffany Crawford

     Presented outline for plan development based on the “Plan Quick Points”

Recommended that we would be well advised to follow the guidelines. 

Region 3 states are all in pretty much the same phase of development as WV.

Chesapeake Bay Program – parts of this will and should show up in some way in the “plan” for WV as well as other states

Region 5 has turned in plan that followed the outline, utilizing reference condition and effects based approaches.  Other possibilities are biological and aesthetic based.

Discussion of “What is the nutrient problem in the state?,  “How to define the problem?”  You can have enrichment without having a particular problem with our streams in the state – but contributing to the downstream nutrient problems.

Several people expressed concerns with others (Chesapeake & Gulf) telling us what our problem is.

            Discussion of whether or not to consider economic impacts when developing criteria.  Some felt that we should look first strictly at the science of nutrient impacts separately from any economic impacts.  There are mechanisms to go through to allow more pollution if attainability isn’t practical.  Others were concerned that TMDL’s will need to be written for any stream that doesn’t meet whatever criteria we come up with. 

            Discussed using the National Strategy Development of Nutrient Criteria Document, Technical Guidance for Rivers and Streams, and the “Grubbs document” to create the plan.

 3.      WV DEP data – John Wirts

Discussed the data that DEP’s Watershed Assessment Program has been collecting and will be collecting.  The program has 1835 sites with both macroinvertebrate data and nutrient data (single samples generally).   The program began collecting periphyton this summer at randomly selected sites (n=150).   A discussion of what periphyton can reveal about a stream followed.

            Periphyton responds quickly to changes in nutrient levels and can store nutrients.  The periphyton community (which algal species or genera are present and in what proportions) is probably better to use than biomass. 

Question arose: If a community of periphyton is different from the “reference community”, does that mean that it’s impaired?  We have the “balanced and indigenous community” issue to deal with.  Martin Christ suggested working with Neil Gillies on the interactions of nutrients, periphyton, macroinvertebrates, and fish.  Neil mentioned that it is nearly impossible to define a natural condition for larger streams.  Wayne Applegate mentioned alternative measures that could be looked at: Chlorophyll A, DO sags, turbidity.

Maryland and Virginia are contemplating initiating a periphyton collection effort. 

Rick Heaslip discussed NRCS’ National Resource Inventory.  Good source of information on landuse, as well as soil information, census data on livestock concentrations (animals / acre).  They used satellite data to create the landuse numbers.  Could use to correlate instream data to landusage.

 Committee Reports

     1.      Document Committee – Kathy Rushworth

Kathy has minutes and agenda from first meeting, and a document from John Rowe of Forestry.  John mentioned Fernow Experimental Forest as a potential source of data (Nitrogen data from 1960 to present). Will keep a copy of all handouts and provide to EQB and anyone else.

     2.      Method Selection Committee – Wayne Appleton

Wayne handed out summary of Grubbs memo and technical guidance document and discussed chapter by chapter.

Some members expressed concern about using the reference condition approach – it doesn’t necessarily provide impairment threshold.

Martin suggested the possibility of using process control statistics (some deviation from the mean)

Tiffany added that none of the state plans that she has reviews had the reference approach as their first choice.

3.      Designated Use Committee – Martin Christ

Hand out of potential use designations affected by nutrients. 

One of group’s tasks will be to tie what our regulations say about protecting downstream uses with specific designated uses.  Two cases:

Downstream use within WV.  Permits could be written with the idea of protecting the entire downstream watershed in mind. Two possible ways to do this: add an entire new category or add sub-category under existing categories.

Case II – Downstream uses outside of state. It was acknowledged that this will be more difficult to get into rules. 

4.      Data Inventory Committee – John Wirts

Have not received any data from non-agency groups.  USGS provided CD of their data.  John will assemble available data so that we can at least see what data exist and where it is from. 

Other Business

 Tiffany emphasized working on a plan.  Group decided to work in sub-groups to create draft plans prior to next meeting and agreed to circulate electronically so that others can read and prepare comments.

 The need for a facilitator to help with assembling the individual plans into a single plan was mentioned.  Neil Gillies said he would contact Canaan Valley Institute to see if they could provide facilitator.

[1] Abbreviations:  MWQA-Municipal Water Quality Association; NRCS-Natural Resources Conservation Service; WVDA-WV Department of Agriculture; WVDF-WV Division of Forestry; WVRC-West Virginia Rivers Coalition; WVBPH- WV Bureau for Public Health; DWR-WVDEP Division of Water Resources; WVMA-WV Manufacturer’s Association; WVCC-WV Chamber of Commerce; WVFB-WV Farm Bureau; WVCA-WV Coal Association.

Back to Top


Approved Minutes of the Meeting of

WV Environmental Quality Board’s

Nutrient Criteria Committee

 AUGUST 9, 2002

 These minutes should be considered draft until modified, clarified, corrected by the Committee at its next meeting on Sept. 5, 2002. 

1.      Chair Tom Brand called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m.

 Introduced Jennifer Fisher as note-taker 

2.      Introductions

 All persons present introduced themselves and their affiliation.  Those signing the attendance sheet included:



Phone #

Committee Members



Michael Hawranick

WV Bureau Public Health


Tom Brand

Potomac State College of WVU


Kim Miller



Kathy Rushworth



Larry Emerson

WVCA/Arch Coal, Inc.


Rodney Branson



Randy Sovic



Joseph Hankins

Conservation Fund/Freshwater Institute


Wayne Appleton



Tiffany Crawford


724 9430

Martin Christ



Margaret Janes

Appalachian Center


John Rowe WV Div. Forestry  

Neil Gillies

Cacapon Institute


Alternates or Observers



Bob Williams



Marc Harman

WV Poultry Association


Randy Maggard



Tim Mallan



Bonetta Guyette

Hiram College, Ohio


Ann Bradley

Spilman, Thomas & Battle


G. Paul Richter

Buckhannon R. Watershed Assoc.


Bill Brannon



Randolph Ramsey

WV Conservation Agency


Alvan Gale



John Wirts



Matt Monroe

WVDA (Moorefield)

538-2397 x 212

Evan Hansen



Edward C. Armbrecht, Jr.



Becky Charles






a.      Explanation of the EQB’s action regarding adding new members to the Nutrient Criteria Committee:

A memorandum from Edward Snyder was distributed.  New members added by action of the EQB were: Joe Hankins (Freshwater Institute in Shepherdstown); Margaret Janes (the Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment); Ben Stout (aquatic ecologist from Wheeling Jesuit University); and Dan Ramsey (USFWS).

b.     New Nutrient Criteria Committee Members

A discussion followed during which some members of the committee expressed concern about politicizing the nature of the group’s work through changes in membership and composition of the committee.  A letter to Edward Snyder from Karen Price of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association and Steve Roberts of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce was distributed, as it articulated the viewpoint of concern.

A concern was raised about changing the composition of the group to a stakeholder committee through new members.  Tiffany Crawford of EPA emphasized that EPA was not a stakeholder, rather a participant to ensure the process is correct and follows on a path toward legal compliance.  Others on the committee suggested that the additional members added scientific and technical expertise and that not everyone was pleased with the original committee. 

Those expressing concern about adding members cautioned that the group is set up to reach consensus and that counting votes should not be given weight since the representational make up of the group remains a concern to some. 

Mr. Armbrecht helped conclude the discussion by suggesting that concerns about membership should be addressed to the EQB that constituted the committee, and he also commended the scientific backgrounds of the membership.  

Others suggested that the committee’s success will be defined by how it works and not who it is.  The committee should do its best to bring the best science and interests to the EQB and let the Board decide what to do with those recommendations.  

c.      Meeting facilitator:

Dave Clark with the Canaan Valley Institute was introduced as the meeting facilitator.

2.      Review of minutes of the June 28, 2002 Nutrient Criteria Committee meeting. 

The minutes were reviewed and the following changes requested:

-          Tom Brand’s organization should be changed to Potomac State College of WVU

-          Applegate should be Appleton (a typo)

-          Include an omitted comment regarding the suggestion to use process control statistics (some deviation from the mean)

Motion to accept minutes with these modifications was seconded and passed without dissent.

3.      Old business

There is not a budget yet, but work is being done in this regard.  Region III states will get a maximum of $10,000 at this point.  EPA is asking the committee to outline funding needs so that these can be factored into next fiscal year funds.  (this covered agenda item # 5: Funding available from USEPA)

The Board will have more discussions on reimbursement and any changes or updates, and perhaps limitations, will be reported to the committee as decisions are made.

4.      Status report of Chesapeake Bay Agreement: (note, this item was moved to directly after lunch due to logistical problems) 

  Bill Brannon, DEP, Division of Water Resources described the status of the Chesapeake Bay agreement.  Some of the points raised included:

w        A compact of states formed to address problem before a TMDL is required for the Bay (i.e., remove it from 303 D list).

w        VA, MD, DC, PA are the original signatories

w        WV, DE, and NY were asked to develop a Memorandum of Agreement with the signatories.

w        DE and NY achieved consensus and signed, while WV worked through its reservations.

w        In June 2002, WV’s governor signed WV in as a voting member of the process and thus gave WV a critical position in negotiations and in appropriations.  So far $250,000 has been provided in funding.

w        There are still many questions, issues, concerns to be addressed.

w        Note that the Chesapeake Bay Program includes a nutrient sub-committee.  Mr. Brannon passed around an organizational chart and a summary of the nutrient sub-committee.

w        There was discussion about how WV’s involvement in the Bay program fits or doesn’t fit into the Nutrient Criteria Committee’s work.  EPA suggested these are not isolated functions.

5.      Funding available from USEPA:

  covered under old business

6.      Discussion of Nutrient Criteria Plans:

The group was given time to read through 4 different plan submissions, which were informally referred to by the following names:

1.   Agency Proposal

2.  Regulated Community Proposal

3.      Forestry (including Appendix E)

4.   Rivers Coalition et al Proposal

The facilitator reviewed the committee’s purpose: to advise the EQB on the plan due to the USEPA for use in developing nutrient standards.  The due date to EPA is 10/31/02.  The group affirmed that it will operate on consensus and decided to use the EPA guidelines passed out during the meeting as the framework.

The following represents the perceived points of consensus emanating from a discussion about each section of the EPA guidelines.  A draft of the first 2 main headings (approach and form) were handed out after lunch and the Committee was given an opportunity to comment or make changes—no changes were asked for at this time.



Following the EPA suggested guidelines for nutrient criteria development plans:

The first step will be to define “impairment” for purposes of the nutrient criteria schematic [questions still on the table about the approach to this]

1.      Approaches: What approach or approaches will be pursued?

a.      Preference is for a cause and effect approach to be used.

b.      If there is not sufficient data for a cause and effect model, the approach should be to establish an empirical relationship.

c.      The alternative to the first two approaches is that the Working Group will define when and under what circumstances a reference-based criteria might be appropriate.

2.      Form: What parameters will be included in the criteria?

The following parameters may be included:

w  TP

w  TKN (includes ammonia and already in-place toxicity standards)

w  Nitrate

w  Nitrite

w  Turbidity

w  DO

w  pH

w  Temperature

w  Periphyton

w  Chlorophyll ‘a’ (for large streams and lakes)

w  Sechii depth

w  Biological community measures (e.g., fish, aquatic plants, microbial population)

w  Aesthetic/Qualitative/Narrative standards

w  Standing stocks of nutrients

  Before adopting parameters, more discussion is required than the time frame will permit.

3.      Process: What will be the overall process?

w        Consensus was not reached with regard to land-use in the plan/process.

w        EQB and EPA will further investigate the land-use issue.

w        Land use will then be discussed further by the Committee.

w        With the lack of consensus, the committee moved on to address classifications.

a.      classification:

1)     Waters draining to the Potomac River vs. waters draining to the Ohio River

2)     Lakes and Reservoirs

3)     Level IV Ecoregions (geology)

4)     Ohio River

5)     Big Sandy and Tug Fork Rivers

6)     North Branch of and Potomac Rivers

7)     Wetlands

8)     Tier 2.5 and 3 waters

9)     Wastershed size (e.g., stream order 1,2,3 vs 4,5)

10)  Water shared with other states vs. those entirely within WV and/or impact across state lines

11)  High gradient/low gradient

b.     regionalization

It was discussed that regionalization will be driven by classifications chosen from this list and the Committee was not prepared to purport a position on the subject of regionalization at this time.

7.      Schedule of next meeting and agenda:


The next meeting was agreed to for Friday, September 6, 2002.  All agreed to hold it at the same place, the WV Farm Bureau in Buckhannon, WV.  The meeting will be from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Each of the authors of the 4 plans was asked to re-evaluate his/her current submission in the context of the EPA format (narrative option) suggested and followed during today’s meeting.  Also authors are asked to identify areas in other plans where there is/can be agreement and incorporate those in the next iteration of their plans.  These next iterations should be emailed to the Committee by Wednesday, September 4th.

Members should add funding issues (to accomplish the work plan) to the list of things to consider. 

The Committee’s goal is to give the EQB a draft by the end of September so that the plan can be taken up in the EQB’s October meeting.

8.      Meeting adjourned

3:00 p.m.


Materials passed out during meeting:

-          4 draft plan submissions

-          Comparison of Nutrient Plan timetables (submitted by Martin Christ)

-          EPA Draft guidelines for review of states’ nutrient criteria development plans

-          Memorandum to Nutrient Criteria Committee from Edward Snyder, Chair EQB (dated August 8, 2002)

-          Letter to Edward Snyder, Chair, EQB from Karen S. Price (WV Manufacturers Association) and Steve Roberts (WV Chamber of Commerce), (dated July 30, 2002)

-          Overview of Nutrient Sub-Committee of Chesapeake Bay Program (passed around)

-          Chesapeake Bay Program Organizational Chart (passed around)

-          Draft of Perceived Points of Consensus (passed out after lunch, based on the morning’s work).

Back to Top



SEPTEMBER 6, 2002, 9:30 a.m.




Tom Brand, Potomac State College of WV, Chairman Dave Clark, Canaan Valley Institute, Facilitator
 Kathy Rushworth, MWQA  Larry Emerson, Arch Coal/WVCA
John Rowe, WV Div. Forestry  Kim Miller, USGS
Joe Hankins, The Conservation Fund Rodney Branson, WVFB
Neil Gillies, Cacapon Institute George Gibson, USEPA
Manjali Vlcan, USEPA Randy Sovic, WVDWR
Wayne Appleton, WVMA/WV Chamber Patrick Bowen, USDA NRCS
Dan Ramsey, USFWS  Martin Christ, WV Rivers Coalition
Evan Hansen, WV Rivers Coalition Margaret Janes, Appalachian Center
Michael Hawranick, WV BPH Roger Sherman,

The attendance sheet was not circulated to the general audience.

Chairman Brand called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

1.         Review and Approve of the minutes of the August 9, 2002 Nutrient Criteria Committee (NCC) Meeting.           

Chairman Brand called for corrections to the minutes from the August 9, 2002 NCC meeting.  The following corrections were proposed:

  • John Rowe should be added to the list of attendees;
  • Bill Brannon’s presented a summary of the Chesapeake Bay process, not just the nutrient process

Larry Emerson moved for approval of the corrected minutes from the August 9, 2002 NCC meeting.  Pat Bowen seconded the motion and the minutes were approved by a unanimous vote.

4.                  Discussion of Nutrient Criteria Plans (note: this item was moved up on the meeting agenda)

Copies of various documents were prepared for distribution.

Dave Clark stated that the NCC is not a stakeholders group.  The purpose of the NCC is to develop a comprehensive, well thought-out Nutrient Criteria Plan (Plan).  If full consensus of the group is not possible, the dissenters may draft a response.

Wayne Appleton noted that the goal for today’s meeting is to finish the Plan and submit the Plan to the EQB.  The EQB will vote on the plan submitted by the NCC and then forward it to the EPA in October 2002.

Dave Clark stated that land-use is outside of the scope of the NCC , therefore the NCC will begin today’s meeting with Agenda Item 4.  Discussion of Nutrient Criteria Plans.

Wayne Appleton stated that the “Regulated Community” did not prepare a new draft of their plan because the Re-Draft Agency Proposal was acceptable as the basis for continued discussion and development.

The NCC then used the document entitled “Re-Draft Agency Proposal, Nutrient Criteria State Plan” as the basis for further discussion of the Plan.  Please refer to the attachments to the minutes for a copy of the edited “Re-Draft Agency Proposal.”

After completing review of the Plan, Dave Clark focused the discussion on two additional documents:

  • Flow Chart prepared by WVRC/ACEE/Cacapon Inst. Nutrient Plan; and
  • Draft Process Flow Diagram for Development of Nutrient Criteria dated September 2002 proposed by the Regulated Community

Dave Clark noted that the first document summarized the decision-making process for establishing nutrient criteria and the second document was a time-line to submit to EPA.

Evan Hansen then described the flow chart submitted by WVRC/ACEE/Cacapon Inst.

Kathy Rushworth then described the diagram submitted by the Regulated Community.  Several changes were proposed and are incorporated in a revised diagram attached to the minutes.

2.                  Report from Tiffany Crawford on the teleconference held on 08/29/02 with USEPA representatives regarding the issue of whether land use can be considered when establishing water quality standards criteria for nutrients.

Tiffany Crawford was unable to attend the NCC meeting.  USEPA was represented by George Gibson and Manjali Vlcan.  A copy of notes from the August 29, 2002 teleconference was distributed.  A written “Summary of call” from a September 5, 2002 Teleconference also were distributed.   Click here to read.  

Note: With regard to the land-use issue, Mr. Sherman noted that there was not consensus that land-use was off the table and out of the scope of the NCC.  Mr. Gillies noted that the EQB needs to provide clear guidance.  Ms. Crawford pointed out that the criteria should be set first, then look at land use.  Discussion continued, without reaching consensus on the land use factor in criteria development.

3.                  Update on the Environmental Quality Board’s continued discussions regarding reimbursement of NCC member travel expenses.

The EQB has circulated a request for reimbursement form.  Please submit the form to the EQB if you desire to be reimbursed.

5.         Schedule the next NCC meeting and identify specific agenda items.

The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 21, 2002 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Farm Bureau offices in Buckhannon, WV.

6.                  Adjourn

Meeting adjourned at approximately 4:00 p.m.

Note: The following materials were passed out at the meeting:

  • Re-Draft Agency Proposal, Nutrient Criteria State Plan;
  • DRAFT plan for the development of nutrient criteria in West Virginia. Martin Christ, et al, DRAFT, September 5, 2002;
  • Draft Nutrient Criteria Development Plan, Prepared by John Rowe, Service Forester, WV Division of Forestry, September 4, 2002;
  • WVRC/ACEE/Cacapon Inst.Nutrient Plan, DRAFT Flow Chart;
  • Regulated Community Proposal, Draft Process Flow Diagram for Development of Nutrient Criteria, September 2002;
  • Memorandum from WVRC/ACEE to EQB dated August 14, 2002;
  • Notes of Record for Land Use Conference Call dated August 29, 2002; and
  • Additional Options in Establishing Nutrient Criteria, September 5, 2002 Teleconference.

 Back to Top


October 21, 2002

Nutrient Criteria Committee

Meeting Minutes  - DRAF T

Attending (sign-in sheet was not passed in the audience):

Dave Clark, Canaan Valley Institute (Facilitator)

Neil Gillies, Cacapon Institute

Evan Hansen, WV Rivers Coalition

Martin Christ, WV Rivers Coalition

John Rowe, WVDOF

Patrick Bowen, USDA-NRCS-WV

Michael Hawranick, WV Bureau of Public Health

Roger Sherman, WV Forestry Association

Joseph Hankins, Conservation Fund/Freshwater Institute

Randy Sovic, WVDWR

Rodney Branson, WVFB

Tiffany Crawford, USEPA Region III

Kimberly Miller, USGS

Wayne Appleton, WVMA/WVCC

Jeff Skousen, WVU College of Ag& Forestry

Ben Stout, Wheeling Jesuit University

Alvan Gale, WVDEP

Patricia Miller, WVU Extension Service (observer)

Wayne Appleton, acting as chair without objection, called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

1. Update on Chesapeake Bay Initiative (by Bob Koroncai, USEPA Region III) 

Speaking to the group by phone, Mr. Koroncai reviewed a powerpoint presentation that was handed out to the Nutrient Criteria Committee (NCC).  The following notes represent points made during the discussion:

  • Purpose of presentation is to provide an update on the development of nutrient related water quality criteria for the Bay.  The goal is to remove the Bay from the impaired water list by 2010 (nutrients and sediments are the most significant problems).
  • Note that criteria for nitrogen and phosphorus are not being adopting.
  • A diagram was provided that delineates sections of the Bay and designated uses.
  • Three areas of criteria are being developed:

1)     Dissolved Oxygen

-   different creatures have different DO criteria (from 6 mg/l to almost 0 mg/l)

-   in response to a question from the NCC—the Chesapeake Bay group is still working on the sampling regime.

-   In response to a question from the NCC—the criteria for migratory spawning nursery from Feb. 15 to June 10 should read “minimum” instead of “maximum”

2)     Chlorophyll a

-   A species composition shift indicates a potential problem or change in levels—so the criteria have to do with the species that are maintained.

-   Of the criteria, this is the weakest in terms of data supporting it—this week there will be a meeting that will work toward deciding on a numeric criterion or a narrative criterion with numeric support.

-   In response to a question from the NCC—this area of criteria only applies to the growing seasons of spring and summer.                          

3)     Water clarity

-   Deals with sediment and algae

-   Extensive study is being done on of the bay grasses to try to understand what water quality is needed.  Sunlight is shown to be important, clarity is being used for criteria (shallow waters)

-   Sunlight penetration is affected by light absorption, color, total suspended solids (dominant problem), and algae (second biggest problem).

-   Sunlight penetration is expressed as percentage of light through water and percentage of light through leaf.  The former is easier to capture and will probably be used.

-   In order to determine the depth that this applies to, the group is going back through 30 years of satellite photography and looking at what grasses have ever been able to survive and where—these are the areas where it is thought the grasses can be brought back. 

-   Criteria will probably apply during the growing seasons.

  • This process is unique in that regional criteria are being developed.
  • Two rounds of public review have been completed.
  • December is the last round of public review (wanting to engage WV).
  • Peer review has been completed.
  • Criteria are expected to be published in April.
  • Attainability guidelines are being developed:

-   Identifying magnitude, duration, and recurrence interval (i.e., how many times can a criteria be exceeded over what period of time).

-   The anticipated guideline will be that criteria cannot be exceeded more than 10% of the time/volume model (within each segment)—anything within this parameter will equate to attainment.  A final decision on inclusion of this should be made week.

  • Presentation also shows cost estimates for various control scenarios.  There is no conclusion on which scenarios will be applied and where (noted a possible quarter billion dollars for WV over life of project).
  • See the web site for complete information and back-up documentation:


  • In response to a question from Mr. Appleton, more information was provided on the 3 models:

1)     airshed model (out to mid-U.S.)

2)     watershed model (entire watershed of the Bay—up to NY and including WV)—tracks loading of nutrients.

3)     All loading from airshed and watershed—simulate in 1 hour increments what is happing in the water quality chemistry and telling us what is happening in the Bay (can simulate past, present, and future)

-         The Bay is complex and these models are 15 years in the making—including scientific and peer review.

-         Every 5 years the models are updated with major revisions and tweaked as necessary during the interim.

-         In terms of confidence: 

-         very confident in model for Dissolved Oxygen (and good criteria)

-         moderately confident for clarity (less modeling experience, but criteria are strong)

-         very confident in model for chlorophyll a (but criteria may be weak)

-         model is being examined for confidence intervals for different segments.

-         For additional information, go to www.chesapeakebay.net or call the head of the modeling team: Lewis Linken at 410-267-5741.

§         Ms. Crawford asked if the NCC was satisfied with its representation in the Bay discussions.  Several people noted their participation in various aspects; e.g., the Steering Committee, and other working committees.  No member spoke up as unsatisfied.

2. Approval of Minutes:

§         Change misspelling of Hansen on page 2.

§         Clarify on page 2 that Mr. Appleton meant that the EQB will vote on the plan submitted by the NCC and then forward it to the EPA.

§         With regard to the land-use issue, Mr. Sherman noted that there was not consensus that land-use was off the table and out of the scope of the NCC.  Mr. Gillies noted that the EQB needs to provide clear guidance.  Ms. Crawford pointed out that the criteria should be set first, then look at land use.  Discussion continued, without reaching consensus on the land use factor in criteria development.

§         With no other changes specified, the minutes were moved for approval, seconded and accepted without objection.

3. Other Business:

  • Two members at their first meeting were introduced:

1)     Ben Stout, Dept. of Biology, Wheeling Jesuit University (bens@wju.edu)

2)     Jeff Skousen, WVU College of Ag. & Forestry (jskousen@wvu.edu)

  • Mr. Christ passed out two documents:

1)     A letter proposed to send to WV scientists (and the list of those scientists). Ms. Miller asked to be added to the list.  At the end of the meeting it was decided that it was okay for Mr. Christ to send the letter and Mr. Appleton would send a similar inquiry to the business community.

2)     A report on the relationship between nutrient concentrate and SCI.  Mr. Appleton asked for the data and it will be sent to him by Mr. Christ.  This report can be taken up at the next meeting, as there was not time for members to read and digest the report for discussion today.

4.  Completion of Report:

Note: Mr. Hansen offered to type changes on his laptop hooked to an LCD projector to ensure consensus on the discussed changes.  At the end of the meeting, a copy of the “final” report was passed out, but a few changes were made subsequent and appeared on the screen but are not reflected in the version photocopied at the meeting.  The final report will be emailed to the NCC.

The following are the changes that were made (provided as a record of the changes—the draft Mr. Hansen will circulate to the group subsequent to the meeting will serve as the work product):

§         Take out time frame under the General Goals/Objectives section.

§         Under II, add a third bullet to read: “Alternatives to the first two approaches are to define when and under what circumstances a reference based or other methods might be appropriate.”

§         Under III, delete “where agreements of loads of P and N are entered and accepted criteria may also be considered.” Change next sentence to read: “West Virginia will evaluate parameters from interstate and partnership agreements and incorporate them into nutrient criteria, as appropriate.”

§         Under 3) Classifications, change the introductory line to read: “Classes of waters for which criteria will be developed include:” and change the heading of (b) to “All other waters.”  Item (iii) under (b) is changed to “streams and rivers (considering size, order, and gradient)”.  Items (iv) and (v) of draft are deleted.

§         Under 5) Inventory of Existing Data, the parenthetical phrase is deleted, (g) is edited to read “US Army Corps of Engineers data”, and (m) is edited to correct spelling of “Forest”.

§         Also under 5) Inventory of Existing Data, the final paragraph had several parts deleted to read more simply as: “Data will first be analyzed to determine where data gaps exist in order to define subsequent sampling and analysis needs.  Data will then be used according to the approach outlined in Section II.”

§         Under 7) Assessing Progress, the first sentence was deleted.

§         Under 8) Deviations and Revisions, the “workgroup” was changed to “EQB’s Nutrient Criteria Committee.”  Then “changes” in the next sentence was modified by the addition of “approved.” 

§         Section IV became Sections IV, V, VI, outlining near-term, intermediate-term, long-term objectives. A flow chart will also be added to specify the timeline, and the report will note the following:

o       Near-term: (1-2 years)

o       Intermediate-term (2-5 years)

o       Long-term (5-7 years)

§         As noted, a few changes were made subsequent to handing out the plan toward the end of the meeting.  These included, adding a (3) to say, “The Legislature will: adopt and implement final criteria.”  And then add a final section, VII, that will say, “The EQB conducts triennial reviews of water quality standards and will make adjustments as appropriate.”  This assures the EPA that a process is in place to monitor achievement.

§         The plan will be circulated to the members by October 22nd, and then transmitted to the EQB.  Mr. Appleton will attend the EQB meeting on Thursday, Oct. 24th, at which time the NCCs plan will be taken up on the agenda.

5.  Next Meeting and Agenda:

The next meeting was scheduled for Thursday, December 12, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the WV Farm Bureau in Buckhannon, WV.

Members of the NCC are asked to submit ideas, items, and issues relative to:

a)      the workplan and development of a budget

b)      The definition of impairment

The various submissions will be posted on the NCC website (on Cacapon web site) by Mr. Gillies so that members can review these prior to the next meeting and come prepared to discuss.

 It was also suggested, that the NCC might need to discuss protocols for discussion of these and subsequent topics. 

 Meeting adjourned at 3:45 p.m.

Materials passed out at meeting

§         As FYI, 4 program fact sheets from the Farm Bill 2002

§         Powerpoint slides of Chesapeake Bay presentation

§         Minutes of last NCC meeting, September 6, 2002

§         Draft letter to scientists and list of scientists (provided by Mr. Christ)

§         Draft report entitled “Nutrient Concentrations and West Virginia Stream Condition Index Values.”  (authored by Mr. Christ and Mr. Hansen)

§         Combined Plan draft, with member comments (used as a working document during meeting)

§         Draft procedures for EPA review of plans

§         The redrafted plan as edited during the meeting


 Back to Top



Cacapon Institute - From the Cacapon to the Potomac to the Chesapeake Bay, we protect rivers and watersheds using science and education.

Cacapon Institute
PO Box 68
High View, WV 26808
304-856-1385 (tele)
304-856-1386 (fax)
Click here to send us an email
Frank Rodgers,  Executive Director

Website  made possible by funding from The Norcross Wildlife Foundation,  the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Virginia Environmental Endowment, NOAA-BWET, USEPA, The MARPAT Foundation, and our generous members.