Phase II Report: Independent Scientific Review Panel on Sediment Impairment and Effects on Beneficial Uses of the Elk River and Stitz, Bear, Jordan and Freshwater Creeks
The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Water Board) convened an Independent Scientific Review Panel (Panel) in August 2002. The objective was to strengthen the science basis for its decision-making for protecting and restoring the sediment-impaired beneficial uses of waters in the Elk River and Freshwater, Bear, Jordan, and Stitz Creek watersheds in Humboldt County, California. The Panel was convened in response to a five-part motion that the Regional Water Board approved on June 27th, 2002. In the first phase of its work, the Panel produced a report entitled, “Final Report on Sediment Impairment and Effects on Beneficial Uses of the Elk River and Stitz, Bear, Jordan and Freshwater Creeks” on December 27, 2002, and presented its findings at the January 23, 2003 Regional Water Board meeting. On January 24, 2003, the Regional Water Board passed five motions relative to the Panel’s findings and directed the Panel to respond to a new set of questions as part of a Phase II. The Regional Water Board specifically requested that the Panel review and comment on the levels of protection in the HCP/SYP and the effectiveness of existing mitigation measures. The Regional Water Board anticipates that the Panel’s Phase II findings will be used to inform the scientific basis for the development of TMDLs in all five watersheds.