Exceptional Resource Waters Anti-degradation Decision

Exceptional Resource Waters Anti-degradation Decision for Bayfield Electric Miller Rd/ Casino Project

On July 6, 2011, the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians adopted Water Quality Standards (WQS). One of the three key components of the WQS is an antidegradation policy, which protects existing uses and prevents clean waters from being unnecessarily degraded. Under the antidegradation policy, each waterbody is assigned to a tier that provides a basis for addressing activities that would, or have the potential to, lower the quality of a body of water. Tiers identified in the Tribe’s antidegradation policy include: Outstanding Tribal Resource Waters (Tier 3 waters), Outstanding Resource Waters (Tier 2.5 waters), and Exceptional Resource Waters (Tier 2 waters).

Under the Tribe’s WQS, new or increased discharges may be allowed in Outstanding Resource Waters (ORW) and Exceptional Resource Waters (ERW) if the applicable Antidegradation Demonstration and Decision requirements are met.

The Tribe seeks comments on the Antidegradation Decision for the proposed Bayfield Electric Miller

Rd/Casino Project. The purpose of the project is to expand electric service from 15kv to 25 kv service which will support additional Tribal development projects. The scope of the project entails burying an existing overhead three-phase powerline from the stepdown structure located on Miller Rd to a point 150’ east of the east entrance of the gas station and north to on Maple St to Mishomis. This antidegradation demonstration concerns the wetlands directly east of Miller Rd and Denomie Creek just south of Hwy 2. Both are designated as ERW under the Tribe’s WQS. To reduce wetland and watercourse impacts, the company is proposing to use Horizontal Directional Drilling to place the powerlines underneath the east of Miller Rd. wetlands and Denomie Creek. This would be accomplished in one continuous 1185’ drill and the powerlines are proposed to be placed at a depth of 10 feet below Denomie Creek. This project meets the Antidegradation Demonstration requirements for ERW. As a result, the Water Resource Program proposes the Anti-degradation Demonstration for this project be Approval with Conditions that include utilization of Best Management Practices to minimize potential impacts to water resources.

Additional information can be obtained, and written comments can be sent, via email or post office to:

Bad River Tribe’s Natural Resources DepartmentWater Resources Specialist
P.O. Box 39
Odanah, WI 54861


Comment deadline is August 22, 2019.