2014 Year in Review
Number of Meetings in 2014
The Task Force holds 2 meetings in January of 2014 including a Task Force (SRRTTF) meeting, and a Technical Track Work Group (TTWG) meeting.
The Task Force discusses and approves Technical Consultant (LimnoTech) Task 8 (Data Collection Strategy) as complete.
The Task Force discusses the outcomes of the 2013 Workshop. This discussion centered around Technical Consultant (LimnoTech) Task 9 (Quality Assurance Project Plan/Sampling and Analysis Plan); the timeline, developed by the Technical Track Work Group for getting contractors on board and starting the synoptic sampling; the development and coordination of Request for Proposals (RFPs) for the sampling and the lab analysis; and Confidence Limit Testing for the QAPP and SAP.
The Task Force reviews comments from EPA on the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). EPA plans to become an active participant on the Task Force when Idaho permits are final.
The Task Force holds 2 meetings in February of 2014 including a Task Force (SRRTTF) meeting, and a Technical Track Work Group (TTWG) meeting.
The Task Force discusses, edits and approves the Technical Track Work group to complete the draft of the Request for Qualifications and Quote (RFQQ) for laboratory selection.
The Task Force continues to provide comments and feedback for MOA revisions to address the evolving needs of the Task Force.
The Task Force discusses the state’s Chemical Action Plan (CAP). The Task Force is asked to provide support for Senate Bill 6086.
The Task Force discusses, edits and approves a letter of support for the University of Iowa to do PCB testing.
The Task Force holds 4 meetings in March of 2014 including a Task Force (SRRTTF) meeting, two Technical Track Work Group (TTWG) meetings, and a Funding Work Group meeting.
Ecology presents on the method of review “Measurable Progress”. The Task Force went over the Preliminary Draft of the Ecology definition of “Measurable Progress”. Ecology requests comments from the Task Force on the definition.
The Task Force participates in a “Put a Pin on the Map” session identifying areas of potentially high PCBs. The Task Force identifies military installations, landfills, lumberyards in Post Falls, Burlington Northern, Havana and Atlas Milling.
The Department of Ecology presents PCB product testing completed on 74 individual products and plans to create a database for product testing.
The Task Force holds 2 meetings in April of 2014 including a Task Force (SRRTTF) meeting, and a Technical Track Work Group (TTWG) meeting.
The City of Spokane presents the City of Spokane’s Draft Integrated Clean Water Plan”. The Task Force discusses potential state and federal funding for implementing the integrated plan. The City of Spokane requests that the Task Force consider signing a letter to the Ecology Director (Maia Bellon) and Governor Inslee.
Ecology presents a summary of the 2012 Spokane River Fish Tissue Monitoring, and presents a summary of The 2012-2013 Spokane River Toxics Monitoring that looked at surface water toxics and the efficacy of collection methods including Grab samples, CLAM, and Sediment Traps.
The Task Force discusses the lab comparison sheet drafted by the Technical Track Work Group that compares the RFQQ responses received from labs. The Task Force decides to explore the utility of the CLAM sampling method, approves the use of AXYS as their lab and authorizes ACE to enter into a contract with AXYS.
The Task Force reviews comments on the Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) and the Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP), and agrees to have the Technnical Track Work Group finalize and approve the plans.
The Task Force agrees that the bidding process for sampling contractors will begin when the QAPP/SAP are approved with a submission due date of May 30, 2014. (RFQQ/RFP Timeline).
The Task Force sends a list of items to be added to the draft list of products to be tested by the City of Spokane, as part of the $50,000 grant to test PCBs in products that are likely to interact with the Spokane River.
The Task Force holds 2 meetings in May of 2014 including a Task Force (SRRTTF) meeting, and a Technical Track Work Group (TTWG) meeting.
Confidence Interval Sampling is completed and samples are sent to the lab (AXYS) for analysis
The Task Force reviews the work of the Technical Track Work Group (TTWG). The Task Force authorizes TTWG to screen lab bids, summarize them, and provide a recommendation for the second lab which will perform the analysis on conventional water quality parameters. The Task force approves the Technical Track Work Group’s contracting authority for the second lab.
The Task Force reviews, revises and approves a Final Draft letter of support for the Spokane Integrated Plan to be sent to Governor Inslee and Director Bellon (Ecology) that proposes the exploration of innovative financial partnerships with the City of Spokane to implement its Integrated Clean Water Plan.
The Task Force approves the Ruckelshaus Center revised facilitation scope and budget and approves ACE to move forward with the Ruckelshaus Center Contract for the FY 15.
Task Force members begin to pull together PCB removal data and in-kind contribution data. The Task Force estimates $1 million in-kind dollars to date.
The Task Force holds 2 meetings in June of 2014 including a Task Force (SRRTTF) meeting, and a Technical Track Work Group (TTWG) meeting.
The Task Force reviewed the Technical Consultant’s (LimnoTech) scope of work for Phase 2 slated for completion in early 2015.
The Task Force hears presentations from 4 sampling contractors and votes and approves to work with Gravity Consulting pending reference checks. The Task Force authorizes ACE to discuss and agree on the scope of work and contract with Gravity.
The Task Force reviewed the laboratory selection status report, cover letter, and draft specifications for the second lab on sampling conventional parameters. the TTWG summary of the second lab submittals and agreed to work with Gravity, the sampling contractor, to decide which lab to use.
The Task Force convenes a CLAM focus work group to examine sampling methodologies based on Confidence Limit Testing results presented by LimnoTech.
The Task Force approves the sumittal of a letter containing comments from the Task Force Funding Work Group on the Draft Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Plan by NW Power Planning council. (Key excerpts from the Fish and Wildlife Plan)
The Task Force holds 2 meetings in July of 2014 including a Task Force (SRRTTF) meeting, and a Technical Track Work Group (TTWG) meeting.
The Task Force approves a revised Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) addendum and Sampling Analysis Plan (SAP) that includes: two new sampling locations (outlet of Coeur d’Alene Lake and at Nine Mile) using the Gravity PR 29000 High Volume Sampler, and flow measurements at the USGS gauges.
The Task Force hears a presentation by Lynn Schmidt on the 2013-2014 Annual Report of on Adaptive Management Plan for Reducing PCBs in Stormwater Discharges in the City of Spokane.
The Task Force reviews the definition of Ecology’s “Measurable Progress” that addresses comments received from the City of Spokane and the Spokane River Stewardship Partners (SRSP). This definition will be used in the next permit cycle
The Task Force approves a letter to Governor Inslee requesting a continued extended payment of grant of $5M/yr to the City of Spokane, with the City allocating $400,000 per year to the Task Force.
The Task Force holds 1 Task Force (SRRTTF) meeting in August of 2014.
Field Synoptic Sampling of the Spokane River proceeds from August 12th- 25th during low flow conditions. The technical consultant (LimnoTech) provides a summary of synoptic sampling.
The Task Force discusses blank correction factors to deal with lab contamination.This is an ongoing conversation about the best methods to use for blank correction, particularly at the low levels of PCBs that the Task Force is looking at.
The Task Force is updated on the AXYS CLAM Study looking into why the analytical results form the CLAM sampler have a bias (potentially due to contamination of the sample).
The Task Force holds 2 meetings in September of 2014 including a Task Force (SRRTTF) meeting, and a Technical Track Work Group (TTWG) meeting.
The Task Force begins planning a Toxics Workshop to be held in January 2015 to present results from the August synoptic sampling, mass balance calculations, and next steps.
The Task Force hears and discusses a presentation by Mike Milne of Spokane County and Lisa Rodenburg of Rutgers University on the County’s work to monitor and identify PCBs and PBDEs and the application of Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) Analysis to identify sources and their congener fingerprints.
Task Force members compile a summary of collective Spokane River Stewardship Partners (SRSP) PCB activities including meetings, TSCA reform, monitoring, funding, and workshops. This document is a start in communicating Task Force activities and accomplishments to the public.Task Force members discussed the need to continue to show their progress through summarizing qualitative and quantitative success and documenting activities on the Task Force website.
The Task Force approves an Op Ed about the Spokane River Toxics and the Task Force to be sent to the Spokesman Review for publishing.
The Task Force sends a letter of support for the legislation that would provide $50 million to Columbia River water quality work. The letter explains that the work the Task Force is doing is groundbreaking and connected to the funding opportunity.
The Task Force holds 2 meetings in October of 2014 including a Task Force (SRRTTF) meeting, and a Technical Track Work Group (TTWG) meeting.
The Task Force continues planning sessions or the January 2015 Toxics Workshop and invites experts from around the United States to participate. Sessions for at the workshop to include:
- Analytical Session: quality and meaning of laboratory data
- Sampling Session: synoptic sampling event of August 2014 lessons learned
- Statistical Results and Mass Balance: statistical analysis of the results from the August 2014 sampling
- Where Do We Go From Here: feedback from experts on data and results thus far, and next steps for the SRRTTF.
The Task Force begins updating its Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to accommodate new parties signing on to the SRRTTF MOA, and do to suggested changes (identified by Task Force members and advisors) that address the evolving needs of the Task Force.
The Task Force hears a presentation on ongoing PCB cleanup activities at Kaiser Trentwood starting in 2005. Kaiser removed 2500 cubic yards of soil from an old ravine which constituted an estimated 250 lbs of PCB removed.
Task Force affiliated PIOs begin work to update outreach materials and messaging for the Task Force.
The Task Force holds 3 meetings in November of 2014 including two Task Force (SRRTTF) meetings, and a Technical Track Work Group (TTWG) meeting.
Letters of re-invitation to participate in the Task Force MOA revision process and participate in the Task Force are sent to four local tribes (Kalispel Tribe, Spokane Tribe, Coeur d’Alene Tribe, and Colville Tribe).
The Task Force report on preliminary findings of the synoptic sampling. All data analysis and mass balance calculations to be done by the January 2015 workshop. The Task force also continues to discuss blank contamination that occurs when sampling for PCBs and the best method of correcting for this contamination. Blank contamination is analyzed by sampling lab blanks, trip blanks and field blanks.
The Task Force selects members of a Memorandum of Agreement Work Group to address comments received, make revisions, then bring the MOA back to the Task Force for review. The revised MOA will then be sent for legal review.
The Task Force holds 4 meetings in December of 2014 including a Task Force (SRRTTF) meeting, and a Technical Track Work Group (TTWG) meeting, and two Memorandum of Agreement Work (MOA) Group meetings.
The Task Force prioritizes research/data gap needs and prepare proposals for projects to be submitted to the Environmental Assessment Program (EAP). Proposed projects center around hatchery fish, bio-accumulation and PCBs, PCBs in products, and atmospheric deposition of PCBs.
The Task Force discusses the implications and potential PCB source reductions based on data from testing of product for PCB content completed for the State level and for the City of Spokane.
On-Going Related Activities:
March 2014: Washington State Senate Bill SSB 6068 which “Requires the Department of Enterprise Services to establish purchasing and procurement policies that provide for a preference for products and products in packaging that do not contain polychlorinated biphenyls.” is passed. Task Force members send letters of Thank you to legislators.
Three Task Force members (Doug Krapas of Inland Empire Paper, Sandy Phillips of the Spokane Regional Health District and Rick Eichstaedt of RiverKeeper) serve as part of the CAP advisory group.
The City of Spokane receives a $50,000 grant from Ecology to perform product sampling for PCBs.
The Spokane River Stewardship Partners send a letter to Ecology with a list of products to be tested.
Dave Moss gives a walking tour of the Spokane County Water Reclamation Facility.
Conferences, Meetings, and Recognition
– Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) – Task Force members spoke in front of GSI and other groups about the Task Force purpose and work.
– WSU Student Challenge – Task Force members (Dave Moss and Adriane Borgias) serve as judges for the WSU Student Challenge.
– Gonzaga Conference – Adriane Borgias speaks on panel at Gonzaga Conference.
– Adriane Borgias, WA Dept. of Ecology, received a Director’s Award for her work on the Task Force.
– Columbia River Basin Conference (Oct. 21-23)
– Spokane River Forum – Multiple Task Force members present at the Forum and the Task Force presents a poster display.
– WA Municipal Stormwater Conference (Nov. 5-6)
– PNWIS Regional Meeting (Oct. 27-29)
– Adriane Borgias gave a presentation at the Site Hazard Assessment Meeting and also the Sewer and Water District Association meeting.
– Columbia River Toxics Working Group (Oct.23)