Tongue River E. Coli
The Tongue River Watershed pathogen total maximum daily load (TMDL) project area is in the Tongue River Watershed located in north-central Wyoming within Sheridan County. The Tongue River originates at the confluence of the North Tongue River and the South Tongue River in the Bighorn National Forest, flows downstream through the towns of Dayton and Ranchester, and eventually becomes a tributary of the Yellowstone River in Montana.
Water quality monitoring in the Tongue River Watershed by the Sheridan County Conservation District (SCCD) has shown that concentrations of pathogenic bacteria exceed state water quality standards. When levels of a pollutant, such as bacteria, exceed state water quality standards, the waterbody is considered to be impaired, and the state is required by the Clean Water Act to develop a TMDL. A TMDL is the amount of a given pollutant that a waterbody can receive and still meet water quality standards.
This Public Involvement Plan presents a strategy for transparent, participatory, and collaborative communication between local residents, stakeholders, and the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) during completion of the Tongue River pathogen total maximum daily load (TMDL) project, herein referred to as the project. SWCA Environmental Consultants (SWCA) prepared this report under contract with WDEQ, and is also conducting the project, which began in October 2015. The project will be completed by November 2016.