Big River Watershed Group Relevance to Community

Big River Watershed Group
Relevance to Community
• Government agencies will be doing something in this county
soon, based on the recent ASARCO settlement:
• Make decisions about how lead (metals) will be removed
or managed (i.e. - where/how)
• Plan/Implement Construction Projects
• Suggest/Implement New Regulations and/or Restrictions
on Use of Floodplain Resources
• Address lead-health issues inside/out of floodplain
Big River Watershed Group
Relevance to Community
• Agencies have asked for Community
• Questions & Concerns
• Outcomes & Objectives
• Local knowledge; Current & Historical
• Perspectives
• Etc.
Big River Watershed Group
Relevance to Community
• Local Impacts to be considered:
– Environment: How we deal with contaminants?
– Natural Resources: How do we repair
– Economics How do the construction projects
affect local:
New/existing recreational amenities?
Commercial operations on River/Floodplain?
– Public Health: How to protect our citizens?
Big River Watershed Group
Relevance to Community
Developing a Road Map for Long Term
Management of the Watershed
 Multiple Administrations
◦ Political
◦ Bureaucratic
 Multiple Agency Interests
 Multiple Funding Sources/Opportunities
Big River Master Planning Process
How did we get here?
• U.S. EPA Superfund Actions throughout Old
• Six Superfund Designations in St. Francois County
• Successful suit against PRP (Potentially
Responsible Party)
• “ASARCO” - the American Smelting & Refining Company
• Significant financial resources awarded in suit for cleanup and repair of natural resource damages throughout
• $100 MM awarded to MO
• $10’s MM designated for use in Old Lead Belt
• Trustees: U.S. EPA; U.S. Fish/Wildlife; MO DNR
Big River Master Planning Process
How did we get here?
 St. Francois County Big River Watershed Group
◦ Formed by MO DNR to address lead load in Big
◦ Met for several years to address watershed
 Including Active Stream Team
◦ Helped inform and engage County
Commission in Watershed Discussion with the
Big River Master Planning Process
How did we get here?
– Commission/Agencies discussed path forward
– Contemplated notion of multi-county initiative
– Washington, Jefferson & St. Francois County
Commissions/Council formed collaborative
– Collaborative applied to EPA for funding
– Superfund Cooperative Agreement Executed to
develop “Master Plan”
– Collaborative Issued RFQ for/hired consultant
Big River Master Planning Process
How did we get here?
 Consultant – URS Corporation, St. Louis
◦ Accomplished in Regional Collaborations
◦ Previous Involvement in SEMO-specific Initiatives
◦ Project Manager is a St. Francois County resident
◦ Hired in December, 2010 by Counties
 Scope of Work:
◦ Create and support local Watershed Groups
◦ Facilitate meaningful/thoughtful communications
◦ Create Master Plan
Big River Master Planning Process
How did we get here?
 URS met with Officials from each County
 URS met with each agency – multiple programs
 URS worked with each County to secure local
leadership/participation for Watershed Groups
 URS created a draft Master Plan Outline
 Local Group Leaders provided for Watershed
Group meeting logistics, outreach and
facilitation (tonight)
Big River Master Planning Process
What are we going to do?
 Create a communications network for the group
◦ You don’t have to be present at meetings to be
informed or provide input – Subcommittees may also
be contemplated
 Review Master Plan Outline (tonight)
 Populate, refine and complete the Master Plan
 Continuously share input/insights with
◦ Local citizenry, advocacy organizations, industry
◦ Elective officials
◦ Agency representatives & officials
◦ Media
Big River Master Planning Process
Draft Master Plan Outline
1. Executive Summary
2. Watershed Planning – General Issues
3. Big River Watershed Issues – regulatory, statutory & legal
4. Big River Watershed – Defined
5. Stakeholder Objectives
6. Institutional Participation
7. Information/Data Summary
8. Information/Data Gap Summary (fluid)
9. Master Planning Process Defined/Memorialized
10. Assimilation of Plans
11. Plan & Implementation Schedules
12. Monitoring/Oversight Summaries, Follow-up, Etc.
Big River Watershed - Defined
◦ Big River & its Tributaries
 Physical attributes
 Historical, current and anticipated future use
 Known & suspected deterioration
◦ Watershed Characterization
 Legacy of Mining
 Known challenges
 Unknown challenges – material carried off site
 Other Land Use Issues - downstream
 Impacts yet to be determined
 319 Program Assistance
4. Big River Watershed – Defined
• Jurisdictions
Legislative & Congressional Districts
Local, state and federal agencies
•Soil & Water Conservation Districts
•Waste Water Treatment/Utility Districts
4. Big River Watershed – Defined
◦ Stakeholders & Partners
Inhabitants (citizens) of the watershed
County residents
Transient users of the watershed (tourists, sportsman, etc.)
Environmental & Conservation Advocates
Public Health Advocates
Economic Interests
Community/Region Economic Development Organizations
Business Associations and individual commercial operators
Agricultural Associations and farmers
Labor Unions/collaboratives
 Jurisdictional Interests
 Other…..
5. Stakeholder Objectives,
Perspectives, Etc.?
◦ Healthy river/tributary/watershed ecosystem
 Mitigate known threat to populations in Big &
Meramec Rivers (Mussels, etc.)
◦ Healthy human population
 Mitigate threats to citizens from heavy metal
concentrations in materials in-stream as well as
materials removed from the watershed
5. Stakeholder Objectives,
Perspectives, Etc.? (Cont’d)
◦ Healthy regional community/economy
 Increased utility of water resources for recreation
 Maximum benefit from plan implementation (planned
 Local contractors & labor used on construction projects
 Leverage planned construction to support new infrastructure
and/or amenities in/about watershed
 Commercial Exploitation of Floodplain
◦ Satisfaction of all known regulatory requirements
◦ Creation of new and/or necessary
statutory/regulatory controls in support of the
Contact Information
Mike Alesandrini
Senior Consultant
URS Corporation
[email protected]*
*Underscore between mike_alesandrini,

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