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Author      Title/Abstract      

An Integrated Approach to Site-Specific Water Quality-Based Permitting
Author: Cynthia Paulson, Lyle Christensen, Mike Bastian, Bill Rue

In the summer of 1993, following discussions with the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ), the City of Lincoln, made a major commitment to conduct comprehensive water quality studies to support scientifically sound water quality standards review and NPDES permitting for the City's two wastewater treatment plants. Wastewater from the City's treatment facilities is discharged to Salt Creek, which is a unique high plains, saline stream that ultimately discharges into the Platte River. The City has recognized the unique nature of Salt Creek and is currently performing detailed water quality studies to characterize site-specific conditions. The City is working with the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) and the Region VII Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to intergrate the technical results of these studies into the regulatory framework and to provide site-specific water quality protection. The alternative is to build more than $30 million in additional treatment facilities to achieve complete ammonia removal, which would be required to meet proposed limits. The studies include a comprehensive evaluation of the chemical, physical, and biological conditions in Salt Creek, and will provide a sound technical basis for the application of water quality regulations.