DO TMDL Purpose & Ground Rules
The purpose of the Spokane River Dissolved Oxygen TMDL Implementation Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee) is to enable Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) to provide and receive feedback on implementation of the Spokane River DO TMDL. This includes:
1) Ecology’s commitment to derive a trading framework that dischargers may use as a tool to meet permit requirements;
2) discussion of related studies, technologies, permit requirements, and regulatory actions that may assist in the development of engineering, offset and other plans that can contribute to meeting DO TMDL implementation.
3) a commitment to transparency and frank, open discussions to address issues and options to address these issues.
Advisory Committee Members
Ecology has invited committee member participation based on their historical interest in the DO TMDL.
Each member of the Advisory Committee is expected to:
- regularly attend and prepare for committee meetings;
- clearly articulate their interests and concerns;
- be respectful to other committee members and stakeholders. This includes allowing one person to speak at a time and avoiding interruptions caused by side-bar conversations, cell phones, etc. ;
- listen to other points of view and try to understand the interests of others;
- openly discuss issues with people who hold diverse views and participate in a cooperative problem solving procedure to resolve differences;
- discuss and evaluate options;
- keep his/her constituent group(s) informed about activities and progress of the Advisory Committee, and solicit their input about ongoing deliberations;
- only speak on the member’s behalf, not the committee’s behalf, when speaking with constituents or the media.
Roles and Responsibilities
Participation in the Advisory Committee is voluntary. Members missing 3 consecutive meetings, however, will exit from the Advisory Committee and become part of an at-large stakeholder group.
A voting mechanism is not required because the committee’s purpose is solely advisory. Further, the committee will not review or approve specific permits or regulatory submissions by dischargers or Avista. In this regard, each committee member fully maintains their jurisdictional authority and is expected to exercise it appropriately.
Ecology has asked the committee to convene to support implementation of the Spokane River DO TMDL. Ecology will be responsible for:
- developing agendas that reflect implementation needs and interests of committee members;
- providing information and receiving feedback from committee members on issues in a timely manner that supports issuance of NPDES permits, developing a trading framework, etc.;
- working with the advisory committee to assure a sufficient number of meetings is held to meet the needs of members;
- receiving committee member input to help determine all needed scientific, technical, policy and regulatory materials are available.
Spokane River Forum
Ecology has contracted with the Spokane River Forum to organize, convene and conduct advisory committee meetings. Based on requests from Ecology, this includes:
- scheduling meetings, related facilities, etc.;
- distribution of agendas and related resource materials via e-mail and web site (www.spokaneriver.net/dotmdl). Every effort will be made to provide documents to Advisory Committee members in advance of each meeting, particularly documents that members should review and come prepared to discuss;
- convene and conduct advisory committee meetings, including implementation of ground rules;
- summarize meeting discussions, questions and action items;
- maintain a DO TMDL Advisory committee web site that will also serve as an archive for meeting minutes, documents and related materials;
- at the request of the committee, provide administrative support on questions and action items between meetings.
- execute actions in a non-partisan, impartial manner. The Forum will not offer an opinion or recommendation on the content of committee discussions, or the merits of member viewpoints.
At-large Stakeholder Group
Ecology recognized that many and diverse stakeholders are interested in implementation of the DO TMDL. To be as inclusive and transparent as possible, committee meetings are open to the general public and stakeholders. The at-large stakeholder group will:
- be seated as observers, using theatre seating to assure they can listen to advisory committee discussions;
- be able to ask questions and/or provide comments about agenda topics as time permits. Determination of time availability is at the discretion of the Forum. At a minimum, the Forum will make every effort to allow comment at the end of each committee meeting;
- be able to make requests for agenda items and/or materials to be included in committee discussion. Determination of inclusion will be at the discretion of Ecology;
- be included in Forum e-mails providing meeting notices, documents, etc.