What is a Basin Advisory Group (BAG)?

A Basin Advisory Group is named by the Director of Health and Welfare, in consultation with the designated agencies, for each of the state's six major river basins which shall generally advise the Director on water quality objectives, and provide general coordination of the water quality programs of all public agencies pertinent to each basin.

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What is a Watershed Advisory Group (WAG)?

A Watershed Advisory Group is appointed by the Director of Health and Welfare, with the advice of the appropriate basin advisory group, which will recommend to the Department of Health and Welfare those specific actions needed to control point and nonpoint sources of pollution affecting water quality limited water bodies within the watershed. Members of each watershed advisory group shall be representative of the industries and interests affected by the management of that watershed, along with representatives of local government and the land managing or regulatory agencies with an interest in the management of that watershed and the quality of the water bodies within it.

See also: WAG FAQ.

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How do I know if a TMDL will be required in my area?

The Idaho DEQ has an index of subbasin assessments, total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), and implementation plans completed or underway in Idaho, along with contact information for the TMDL Program Manager.

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How can a TMDL effect my operation?

If your operation has runoff or subsurface water that enters an agricultural drain, stream, river or lake, your operation will likely be subject to the TMDL and its Implementation Plan. One thing that you can do in anticipation of the TMDL and Implementation Plan being completed is to develop a OnePlan or an NRCS Conservation Plan. Such a plan will include recommended practices to deal with minimizing water quality impacts. These practices, commonly referred to as Best Management Practices (BMPs) are based on the specific conditions in your area.

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If I develop and implement an approved Conservation Plan for my operation before a TMDL is in place, will my Plan be honored?

If your plan addresses water quality problems resulting from your operation and you have had your plan reviewed and certified by a qualified resource specialist, then your Plan will be considered acceptable for the planning period (usually 5 years) even if it does not contain all of the practices or provisions that become part of the Final TMDL and Implementation Plan. Of course you would be encouraged to modify your plan, but such changes would be up to you. Once the planning period has expired, you would be expected to incorporate any additional modifications that may be referenced in the TMDL and Implementation Plan.

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If I know a TMDL is required in my area, should I hold up my Conservation Planning until the TMDL is complete?

No, to the contrary, you are urged to proceed with developing a Conservation Plan as soon as possible. You should begin working on your Plan now by developing and implementing an approved OnePlan/Conservation Plan that identifies water quality problems to which you may be contributing and appropriate solutions (BMPs). Before you begin implementing your Plan, however, you should have your Plan reviewed and certified by a qualified resource specialist to be sure your solutions will be compatible with the future TMDL.

If I have a Conservation Plan that addresses TMDL requirements in my watershed, can I get assistance in implementing my Plan?

Yes. Technical assistance is available from a number of different sources depending upon your situation . Financial assistance may also be available.

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