glossary contains words that are used in the Mahoning River
Watershed website that are not in the U.S. Geological Survey
- Water Science Glossary of Terms
| B | C | D|
E | F| G | H
| M | N | O
| P | Q | R
| T | W
Definition: Each era has a nickname that describes a value in the culture. The era of the new millennium focuses on aesthetics (visual appeal) and quality of life. It is from this that the name “amenity age” is derived.
Description: The beauty of restored downtowns that are enhanced by natural settings like parks (greenspace/open space) is evidence of the amenity age. The attempts to beautify Mahoning Valley villages and towns reflect this shift in our thinking, locally.
- Definition: This term refers to the use of biological factors to restore a balance to the natural environment. Bioremediation has been done in many different environments - soils, sediments, or beaches. One famous case is the Exxon Valdez cleanup. However, this (Mahoning River) might become one of the first large scale river cleanups using bioremediation.
- Description: Currently, researchers at YSU are attempting to enhance environmental conditions in order to optimize the ability of indigenous bacteria (i.e.: microbes already growing in the river) that feed on the organic contaminants in the sediment. What is needed is to demonstrate the effectiveness of this process: find exactly what they (the native microorganisms) need to most quickly degrade (eat) the contaminants. This process is called “enrichment.” So far, the potential for bioremediation to work is excellent, there is a healthy microbial population and the conditions (with a little help) are favorable. The outcome of this process is primarily carbon dioxide which trees are able to absorb.
An idea: The advantage of this technique is that the habitat would experience less disturbance than dredging (in which sediment in the banks would be removed.) Consider the bends in the river, where the contamination has been forced deeply into the banks. If pipes are installed from the surface down to the contaminated area, the “enrichment” could be piped down to the area of microbial activity and help speed it up. This would leave the riparian zone intact and limit any possibility of erosion to the bank. The remaining substance might possibly be enriching. A drawback to this approach is heavy metals left in the soil. That, too, will have to be researched!
- Definition: Literally, it is a walkway made of boards.
- Description: Boardwalks are found along riverbanks or ocean harbors and can even be constructed out onto marshes to allow the public to take a walk in the wetlands. They can be quiet places of reflection or bustle with activity. Many coastal cities have had boardwalks for years and use them to access docks and for outdoor markets. Riverfront boardwalks are becoming popular, too, for the same reasons.
(Picture of Marina Bay Boardwalk, Quincy, Ma, at Christmas – a quiet time of year; the summer scene is quite different. http://www.quincyonline.com/tour/images/mbboard.jpg)
- Definition: This refers to the modification of rivers and streams for the purposes of flood control, navigation, drainage improvement….
- Descriptions: “Activities such as straightening, widening, deepening, or relocating existing stream channels and clearing or snagging operations fall into this category. These typically result in more uniform channel cross sections, steeper stream gradients, and reduced average pool depths.” (From: http://www.epa.gov/OWOW/NPS/MMGI/Chapter6/ch6-2a.html)
“…straightening and deepening streams so water will move faster, a marsh-drainage tactic that can interfere with waste assimilation capacity, disturb fish and wildlife habitats, and aggravate flooding.” (From:
- Definition: Don’t touch!
- Description: The Ohio Department of Health has issued a health advisory from the NW Bridge Road in Warren Township to the Pennsylvania state line. The health advisory cautions the public against coming into contact with the river sediments. Therefore, people don’t swim, wade or waterski in the lower part of the river nor do they eat fish caught there - with some exceptions. However, canoeing or boating (non-contact activity) is not part of the ban. (Call the Ohio Department of Health at 1-800-755-4769 for additional information, specifically: “The Ohio Sport Fish Consumption Advisory”.)
- Definition: “Contaminant: Any physical, chemical, biological, or radiological substance or matter that has an adverse effect on air, water, or soil.” (US EPA)
- Description: “Contamination: Introduction into water, air, and soil of microorganisms, chemicals, toxic substances, wastes, or wastewater in a concentration that makes the medium unfit for its next intended use. Also applies to surfaces of objects, buildings, and various household and agricultural use products.” (From:
- Definition: This is the decision made when the price of doing something is weighed against the expected outcome. Cost = price. Benefit = outcome.
- Description: For the Mahoning River cleanup project one way to decide is to answer this question: How much can a community benefit (both in economic development and quality of life) – vs – how much will it cost to have a health environmental balance.
Environmental Definition: “A quantitative evaluation of the costs which would have been incurred by implementing an environmental regulation versus the overall benefits to society of the proposed action.” (From:
- Definition: This is a parasite (like giardia and other waterborne diseases) that has been identified in the last decade.
- Description: It is a single-celled organism that is highly resistant to disinfection by chlorine. Because its size is less than 1/100th a speck of dust, it is nearly impossible to filter. This parasite is commonly found in animal waste and is of concern where watersheds drain an area filled with farms. In fact, studies have confirmed its existence in most source water and over half of the treated water that comes from surface sources. Newer technology (ozone disinfection) may treat it but the potential health risks from by-product of this treatment are unknown.
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- Definition: Low – in that the dam is between 6 and 25 feet high.
- Descriptions: These dams are built for many purposes – industry used them in the Mahoning River. They are particularly dangerous for boaters and emergency workers (divers) because they may not be posted from a safe distance. They are an impediment for fish, as well.
Location of the 10 dams: They are referenced by the closest town, street name, and the “river mile” marker (R.M.)
Leavittsburg- Lovers Lane Dam R.M 46.18
Warren - North River Road Dam R.M. 42.89
Summit Street Dam R.M. 40.05
Main Street - Substation Dam R.M. 36.79
Girard - Liberty Street Dam R.M. 26.97
Youngstown - Crescent Street Dam R.M. 23.14
Mahoning Avenue Dam R.M. 21.11
Haseltown - Center Street Dam R.M. 18.20
Struthers-Bridge Street Dam R.M. 16.28
Lowellville - 1st Street Dam R.M. 13.05.
(For a full description of dams as well as the measurement of their effectiveness, see this site:
- Definition: This refers to collecting - scooping up - the sediment on the bottom of a waterway.
- Description: In the case of the Mahoning River, it refers to removing the industrial sediments that cover the original, pre-industrial substrates of cobble, gravel, sand and rocks. In order to restore ecological function to the river habitat, diversity of substrates must be restored (rather than the fine, toxic sediments that now cover much of the river bottom and banks.)
Drinking Water Resources:
- Definition: “Drinking water comes from surface water and ground water. Including the approximately 23 million Americans who use ground water as a private drinking water source, slightly more than half of the population receives its drinking water from ground water sources.”
- Descriptions: “Surface water includes rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Ground water is pumped from wells that are drilled into aquifers. Aquifers are geologic formations that contain water. The quantity of water in an aquifer and the water produced by a well depend on the nature of the rock, sand, or soil in the aquifer where the well withdraws water. Drinking water wells may be shallow (50 feet or less) or deep (more than 1,000 feet). Your water utility or your public works department can tell you the source of your public drinking water supply.” (From: www.epa.gov/ogwdw/wot/introtap.html)
“…drinking water quality varies from place to place, depending on the condition of the source water from which it is drawn and the treatment it receives. Now you have a new way to find information about your drinking water: http://www.epa.gov/safewater.
(see USGS glossary: domestic drinking water use, freshwater, groundwater)
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- Definition: In law, the term refers to the right to use someone’s land for a specified purpose, for example: a utility’s right to run power lines through a property. Typically, if the easement benefits the landowner, personally, it is called an “easement in gross.” Most often, the easement passes with the land to a new owner but must be in writing or implied by a court.
- Description: In our valley, the use of easements has successfully secured the riparian zone (streamside forest) in some locations. Given the fact that, in Ohio, the riverbank and bed belong to the property owner, easements will be needed to provide additional river and streamside forests. These are Riparian Conservation Easements (i.e.: easements designed to protect natural resources along stream corridors.)
“The Eastgate Regional Council of Governments (EASTGATE) was formed in 1973 … through a merger of the Mahoning-Trumbull Council of Governments and the Mahoning-Trumbull Comprehensive Transportation Study. EASTGATE is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Mahoning and Trumbull counties and is committed to promoting cooperative regional efforts in the planning, programming, and implementation of public sector activities. EASTGATE serves as a forum to discuss common problems, formulate policies, and effect rational plans for the benefit of the region. As the designated MPO, EASTGATE is responsible for long-range transportation planning, transportation improvement programs, among other activities.”
Ecologically Sustainable Development:
- Definition: This refers to land use that takes into consideration numerous factors, including the environment, and the impact of built structures, roads and utilities.
“…new development does not have to entail the sprawling, geographic expansion of our urbanized area. We should focus on taking care of our existing communities and protecting our countryside. If we do this well, we can satisfy our housing needs and maintain the property values of most people in the region. And we can keep the building industry supplied with good work for a long time to come.” (Read more at:
- Definition: This term comes from the use of mapping (a geographical technique) to understand the economic factors in an area/landmass. One effect of this technique is that it answers the saturation issues: how much of X can Y handle? An outcome might be the need for an issue to be addressed by/comply with government regulations.
- Description: In the past, the number of steel mills in the area were mapped. This “mapping” was read by regulators to understand the economic impacts of the density of the mills. Currently, “mapping” is used to determine the economic impact of other things: the use of the riverfront by municipalities; the percentage of residences/businesses of all those in an area that are along the riverfront. This information can be used to determine the need for cleanup or for municipal waste treatment plants. On the more pleasant side, it shows that people appear to “like” to live near the water as that is where the housing is more dense than other areas.
- Definition: “The interacting system of a biological community and its non-living environmental surroundings.” (From:
- Description: The Mahoning River Watershed is an ecosystem. Also, aquariums or terrariums are ecosystems.
- Definition: This refers to ability of the government to take privately owned land (with fair compensation) if it is for “the public good.”
- Description: It may be used if there is just cause during the restoration of the Mahoning River Corridor and Watershed.
- Definition: Capping may be looked at as “putting a lid on it”. “Encapsulation” may be viewed as encasing (similar to the way the Russians handled the Chernobyl nuclear facility: after the disaster, they encapsulated the whole facility in concrete.)
- Description: The use of either of these two processes will be studied during Phase 2 of the cleanup project to see how they may be used. For example, one potential use might be to encapsulate (store) the contaminated sediment in after it is dredged. Another possibility might be to cap the sediment where it is.
- Definition: A huge topic, it includes ecologically sustainable development, smart growth and so much more!
- Description: One example of a use of Environmental Planning, “The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) directs all Federal agencies to use a systematic, interdisciplinary approach that integrates the use of environmental, natural, and social sciences to ensure sound planning and decision making on major Federal actions that may have an impact on the environment. …covers a wide range of environmental issues including: wetlands and floodplains, hazardous waste and toxic contamination, air and water quality, endangered and threatened species, and historic, cultural and archeological resources.”
(Learn more at: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/ENVI/environ.html)
- Definition: This refers to the systematic digging of a site.
- Description: In the cleanup project, excavation may be used to remove the contaminated material from the bank.
- Definition: the process by which a body of water becomes enriched in dissolved nutrients (such as phosphates) that stimulate the growth of aquatic plant life, typically reducing/depleting dissolved oxygen.
- Description: The reservoirs in the Mahoning River Watershed have objectionable taste and odor that originate from algae and fungus that grow in them. Most of the odors can be removed from the water by appropriate treatment methods but these methods are relatively expensive. Watershed development usually accelerates eutrophication. Thus, rising water treatments costs are, in part, a hidden cost of watershed “development.”
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- Definition: Animals, from one-cell organisms to mammals.
Description: In the Mahoning River area, this includes beavers, muskrats, ducks, fish,
Fish Consumption Advisory:
- Definition: a caution about the amount/type of fish that you eat and how it is filleted, prepared
Description: The Ohio Sport Fish Consumption Advisory (which is provided by the Ohio Department of Health to each angler when they purchase a fishing license) for 2001 states that, from the Berlin Dam to the Pennsylvania border, Smallmouth bass may be eaten at a rate of one meal per month. Also, from NW Bridge Road in Warren Township to the Pennsylvania border, a White crappie meal may be eaten once per week and a Walleye meal may be eaten once per month. You may wish to contact the Ohio Department of Health at 1-800-755-4769 for additional information.
(Note: The NW Bridge enters Dustan Dr. going to Jamestown Village off Route 45 in Warren Township/Leavittsburg. This is not the same as Lover’s Lane in Leavittsburg. The study area of the Army Corp of Engineers and the area of the Health Advisory are not identical! While each starts in Warren Township/Leavittsburg, the starting positions differ.)
- Definition: This is a form of passage for the fish to get past dams.
- Description: There is some controversy about them because not all fish seem to be able to use them; various types need to be built for successful passage. (For science teacher/engineer-level interests, see: GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATING FISH PASSAGE TECHNOLOGIES (Initiative 2: Fish Passage Technologies Research Development Process), prepared by the American Fisheries Society Bioengineering Section at:
Flood Hazard Areas: also called the “flood plain”:
- Definition: This term refers to any area that has the potential for flooding, for example: the nearly flat plain along the course of the stream that is usually dry and naturally subject to flooding. Flood plains are found in valley and lowland areas along the major streams and stream tributaries. In other words, the flood plain is a natural safety valve that relieve the channel of its excess burden.
- Description: Natural events such as heavy precipitation during storms or snow/ice melt in the spring produce large volumes of water which are released onto the land surface. Once the soil becomes saturated and excess water can no longer be absorbed into the ground, it then becomes surface runoff. This runoff then accumulates in streams and rivers. Sometimes this volume of water is so large that it actually exceeds the capacity of the stream or river channel. It is at this point that flooding occurs. The water spills over the banks onto the land, which outlines the course of the channel. Floods usually are local, short-lived events that can happen suddenly, sometimes with little or no warning. They are usually caused by intense storms that produce more runoff than an area can store or a stream can carry within its normal channels. Small streams are subject to flash floods (very rapid increases in runoff), which may last from a few minutes to a few hours. On larger streams, floods usually last from several hours to a few days. A series of storms might keep a river above flood stage (the water level at which a river overflows its banks) for several weeks.
In Ohio, visit this website to learn about flood hazard areas. (http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/coastal/document/ocmpeis.htm
For other definitions/descriptions of flood-related terms see :(see USGS glossary: flood plain, flood
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Geographical Information Systems (GIS):
- Definition: A computer system, GIS combines layers of information about a place to give you a better understanding of that place, including:
* Bedrock Geology
* Ground water Resource Yields & Related Aquifer Geology
* Depth to Bedrock
* Glacial Geology
* Abandoned Coal Mines
* Topographic Elevations
* Watershed Drainage Basins
* Specific Soil Types
* Wetlands & Hydric Soils
* Flood Hazard Areas
* Prime Farmland Soils
* ....and more..............
- Description: What layers of information you combine depends on your purpose: finding the best location for a new store, analyzing environmental damage, viewing similar layers in an area to detect a pattern, and so on. GIS technology can be used for scientific investigations, resource management, and development planning. For example, a GIS might allow emergency planners to easily calculate emergency response times in the event of a natural disaster, or a GIS might be used to find wetlands that need protection from pollution. (www.usgs.gov/research/gis/title.html)
Green space (also referred to as “open space”)
GDP (Gross Domestic Product):
- Definition: The GDP is relatively easy way to measure the worth of a nation. It is the marketplace value of goods and services, produced in the country.
- Description: The GDP is typically used in cost-benefit assessments and does not include the terms used in describing “quality of life.”
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- Definition: This term refers to types of soil that retains water and/or the types of vegetation that can normally grow in wet soil, typically found in wetlands.
- Description: (See wetlands.)
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- Definition: This refers to the originating part of the river that comes from the headwaters; it also refers to the section that is most fully formed, after the tributaries have emptied into it. (Most people think it is the largest, widest portion – but that is deceiving.)
- Description: The mainstem of the Mahoning River is generally considered to be from Newton Falls to Lowellville in Ohio. However, it is actually the East Branch that starts at the headwaters in Columbiana County and merges with the West Branch near Newton Falls.
MRC or Mahoning River Consortium:
- Definition: a group of concerned citizens who favor a clean river and healthy watershed and work to make that happen.
- Description: The mission of the MRC is to restore and maintain higher environmental quality of the Mahoning River, its Corridor, and its Watershed. This will positively impact the quality of life in the Valley. One of the functions of the MRC is fundraising. Tax-deductible contributions are solicited by the MRC from businesses, trusts, organizations and individuals. The MRC has no paid staff; a $10 membership fee provides for administrative overhead.
- Definition: National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Act (1972) permit program, administered by states after federal authorization, implements the Clean Water Act’s prohibition on unauthorized discharges by requiring a permit for every discharge of pollutants from a point source to waters of the United States.
- Description: The discharge allowed includes wastes such as industrial process water, non-contact cooling water, raw water overflow and storm water runoff. There are limitations and inspections to the permits.
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OEPA (OHIO EPA), DEFA (Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance) and WRRSP (Water Resources Restoration Sponsor
The Ohio EPA's Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance (DEFA) recently initiated an incentive program. It allows loan interest from any municipal/county DEFA loan project for a wastewater treatment or collection system improvement to be diverted to fund stream restoration projects. (Stream restoration projects eligible for funds include: Land conservancy easements, Stream bank re-stabilization, Riparian restoration, Dam modification, Sediment remediation projects, Source Water Protection Plans, Watershed Implementation Plans, Watershed Action Plans.) The program, Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program (WRRSP), allows communities to add projects protective of water resources to approved Water Pollution Control Loan Funds (WPCLF).
- Definition: This term refers to what was there before humans began to farm the land, build structures, remove trees (deforest) or drain wetlands.
- Description: “The original landscape in both cities and suburbs often has been remade so completely that the microclimate, soil type, soil hydrology, and insect populations no longer are what they were when the native plants of the area evolved.”
... the definition. N Naturalized: when a plant has taken over the natural range of native plants and acts like it's always been a part of the original landscape ...
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- Definition: “Generally, the presence of a substance in the environment that because of its chemical composition or quantity prevents the functioning of natural processes and produces undesirable environmental and health effects.” (US EPA)
- Description: “Under the Clean Water Act, for example, the term has been defined as the man-made or man-induced alteration of the physical, biological, chemical, and radiological integrity of water and other media.”
(From: http://www.epa.gov/OCEPAterms/cterms.html )
Point-Source pollution (see USGS
- Definition: This refers to a reserve of water formed by a dam.
- Description: There are 10 dams along the project area; each one forms a pool. The pools are places where industry could reserve water for their use, i.e.: cool the metal in a steel mill. Now, the pools form a cleanup site - as the contaminated sediment is deeper in the pools than in free-flowing sections of the river.
“Prime farmlands”: Prime Farmland Soils
- Definition: This, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is the land that is best suited to food, feed, forage, fiber and oilseed crops.
- Description: It may be cultivated land, pasture, woodland, or other land, but it is not urban or built-up land or water areas. It is either available for or used for food or fiber crops. The soil qualities, growing season, and moisture supply are those needed for a well-managed soil to produce a sustained high yield of crops in an economic manner. Prime farmland produces the highest yields with a minimal expenditure of energy and economic resources, and farming it results in the least damage to the environment. Prime farmland has an adequate and dependable supply of moisture from precipitation or irrigation. The temperature and growing season are favorable. The level of acidity or alkalinity is acceptable. Prime farmland has few or no rocks and is permeable to water and air. It is not excessively ‘erodible’ or saturated with water for long periods and is not frequently flooded during the growing season. The slope ranges from 0 to 6 percent.
“Agricultural, government and community leaders in states across the country are confronted with the drive to preserve farmland. …the United States loses 1 million acres of productive farmland annually -- two acres a minute. Since the first Earth Day in 1970, more than 40 million acres of farmland have been removed from production nationwide, which has spurred 14 states and local governments in four other states to initiate farmland preservation programs.“ http://www.state.oh.us/agr/land807.html
Kids website http://www.usda.gov/nass/nasskids/games/games2.htm
Mahoning County (n/a )
Trumbull County (http://planning.co.trumbull.oh.us/farmland_preservation_plan.htm)
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QLI (Quality of
- Definition: The social or psychological value of our lives, our choices, our environment and our belongings.
- Description: The feelings of well being and a number of other “fuzzy” terms are hard to measure, yet are very important when deciding to make, do or buy something. In fact, goods and services have no value if they cannot be translated into such feelings or attributes. So, a project like the cleanup of the river is not just decided by the money –vs- the clean environment, but includes how we feel about the river and the place we live in: the Mahoning Valley.
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- Definition: A “riparian zone” is that area along the river often referred to as a streamside or river forest. “Riparian” means water-related.
- Description: This corridor is important for the wildlife habitat, for shade to keep the water cool, for a buffer from pollution and for the retention of the bank. It also filters the water that would otherwise drain directly into the river. We are fortunate to have an intact riparian zone along much of the Mahoning River – but need to restore/improve it in the industrialized areas.
- Definition: (see USGS
- Description: At the bottom of the river, the original substrate is covered with the toxins – oil and grease and heavy metals - which are covered with fine sediment that is contaminated by the toxins below. The condition of the sediment in the Mahoning River is such that it may never be able to clean itself up; if it were just left there, the river would remain an unsafe resource.
Description: “In the first half of this century, Ohio led the nation in progressive land use planning. But in the last fifty years, we seem to have forgotten that legacy. Instead, we have promoted sprawling patterns of growth that have turned thousands and thousands of acres of productive farmland and environmentally important open spaces into subdivisions, strip shopping malls and light industrial parks. But we have better alternatives. We can manage growth and development in Ohio to create strong, livable communities in both urban and rural areas of the state by adopting an Ohio Smart Growth Agenda. “
(Read more at: (http://www.ecocitycleveland.org/smartgrowth/smartgrowthpage.html)
- Definition: A spillway is an area where excess water is allowed to flow away from the reservoir and is intended to prevent excessive water from damaging the dam.
- Description: There are many types of spillways; overflow, chute and shaft are often listed – but that is not the full story. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) lists controlled, uncontrolled, fuse plug… (see:
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/hsd/hydefq-z.html#s) FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Association) lists another set, including: service, auxiliary, emergency… (see:
http://www.fema.gov/mit/idf_ii.htm) My point is that there are varying types, depending on who is writing about them in any branch of the US government, and this confuses the issue. They are built to take water away from the dam in whatever form.
Great graphic of spillway at ODNR: http://www.ohiodnr.com/water/pubs/fs_div/fctsht49.htm
See this amusing story about ducks walking on the backs of fish at the nearby Pymatuning State Park Spillway!
- Definition: To make a loose or unsteady surface safe is to “stabilize” it.
- Description: After the riverbank is excavated, it cannot be left in an unsafe condition. The process of making the slope of the bank safe is called “stabilization.” Many techniques are used depending on the circumstances; for example, plantings can stabilize loose soil as can retaining walls.
- Definition: This use of the word stigma refers to a “mark of shame”.
- Description: The Mahoning River was used as and named an “industrial sewer”. This was certainly a “mark of shame” and has impacted the way people think about the river and the result is the opposite of “pride-of-place.” This mark has impacted the thinking of businesses who have not considered the river to be an economic asset and of residents, who have not viewed the river as a community resource, either.
- Definition: People who lived in the Mahoning Valley when steel was the major product were part of the steel generations.
- Description: Some people of this description were factory workers who made the steel or their family members. But, anyone who lived here at that time was influenced by that environment and shares a history or perspective. That era defined people’s lives; each, in a unique way, was formed by this place.
Stormwater Phase I & II:
- Definition: Part of the Clean Water Act includes a way to eliminate pollution discharge systems, called the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES.) To make this happen, in 1990, the USEPA established rules regarding storm water, called Stormwater Phase I & II.
- Description: Stormwater Phase I is for municipalities that serve population of 100,000 or greater. This program requires operators to implement separate sewer systems for storm water. This management program is meant to control polluted discharges. Stormwater Phase II extends to "small" municipalities, but takes a slightly different approach. It requires operators to design their program to: reduce the discharge of pollutants to the "maximum extent practicable", protect water quality, and satisfy the appropriate water quality requirements of the Clean Water Act.
Phase II is defined as a program that comprises six elements that, when implemented in concert, are expected to result in significant reductions of pollutants discharged into receiving water.
The six elements include:
(1) Public Education and Outreach
(2) Public Participation/Involvement
(3) Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
(4) Construction Site Runoff control
(5) Post-Construction runoff control
(6) Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping
At the state EPA level, is administered by the Division of Surface Water.
For additional info regarding the program, www.epa.gov/owm/sw/phase2
- Definition: The riverbed – it is the original “bottom” under all the flora and sediment; usually this is a layer of rock or clay perhaps covered by sand or mud.
- Description: The original substrate of the Mahoning River varies from stone to earth and is now covered by the contamination and build up of sediment from the banks and run-off from the riverside. When the project is completed the substrate will be replaced with cobblestones and other rock material.
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- Definition: a substance that causes ill health or death. Some toxins are “slow-acting” in that they cause a disease to develop over time (for example, cancer or liver/kidney failure ) or will cause harm to an unborn child/offspring – human or other species. Other types of toxins are quick to cause death.
- Description: The list of contaminants in our river includes heavy metals (mercury, lead, zinc, copper, cadmium, silver and iron), grease, oil, organic compounds, PCBs and PAHs, pesticides, other organic toxins and carcinogens. In comparison, the water itself is much less impacted by the toxins because it flows continually and—except during heavy rains—does not contain much sediment compared with the huge amounts in the riverbed. In general, what you will find is the "water" quality of the Mahoning River (at most sites during dry weather conditions) is below the allowable values. (During a downfall of rain—especially a heavy downfall—the water becomes churned up and the sediment mixes with the water, so the water would have more of the toxic sediment in it during that time, after which the sediment would settle back to the riverbed). Regarding allowable levels of PCBs, PAHs, and heavy metals in the sediments, however, they are well above the table values (allowable levels), from the Warren area down to the Pennsylvania state line, and beyond.
Turbid: (see USGS glossary:
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US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE or ACOE) and Local Sponsor & Fiscal
The Mahoning River is included in Section 312(b) of Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1990, as amended, "environmental dredging" by Section 205 of WRDA 1996. This amendment directed the Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh Office, to give priority to the environmental dredging projects of the five rivers included in the amendment (the Mahoning being one of the five). Section 312, as amended, spells out how these projects are to be conducted, such as, the role of the ACOE, the need for a local sponsor (Eastgate for now), and the funding ratio (fed/local match).
The ACOE are the lead in the project. This includes participation in phases 1 through 4 and the actual work of phases 3 and 4. The ACOE makes the determination as to the methodologies used in the project, however, they will be working with the steering committee and entertain suggestions. The MRC will definitely encourage the use of bioremediation if possible.
The criteria for a local sponsor is also spelled out. They must be a fiscal agent (i.e.: secure and manage the monies, pay the ACOE for work completed, etc.) The local sponsor (working with municipalities and counties) must also have the ability for eminent domain and the capability to generate monies through taxes or bonds. Eastgate will enter into a joint venture agreement with the object being to dredge the sediments in the river adjacent to their boundaries.
Named for the person who developed it, this equation measures the value of “quality of life” factors in an economic assessment of the costs and benefits of a project, like the Mahoning River cleanup.
- Definition: “…wetlands are areas where the frequent and prolonged presence of water at or near the soil surface drives the natural system meaning the kind of soils that form, the plants that grow, and the fish and/or wildlife communities that use the habitat.” (Ohio EPA)
- Description: “Swamps, marshes, and bogs are well-recognized types of wetlands. However, many important specific wetland types have drier or more variable water systems than those familiar to the general public. Some examples of these are vernal pools (pools that form in the spring rains but are dry at other times of the year), playas (areas at the bottom of undrained desert basins that are sometimes covered with water), and prairie potholes.”
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