History of the CTMRD Program

Legislative Background

In 1995, the Nevada Legislature passed Senate Bill 489 of the 68th Legislative Session. Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 540A.250-285 came out of Senate Bill 489 and are the sections of state law that govern the Central Truckee Meadows Remediation District (CTMRD) in Washoe County. The legislation requires a Board of County Commissioners to create a remediation district in response to the Administrator of the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) or the District Health Officer certifying the existence of a groundwater contamination problem in their county.

The Washoe County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) received certified letters from both NDEP and Washoe County Health District in August 1995. The certification letters indicated that PCE in groundwater in the central Truckee Meadows had created a situation affecting the quality of water available for municipal, industrial, and domestic uses. The CTMRD program was then created by the BCC (through Washoe County Ordinance 1000) to develop and implement a plan to address the affected groundwater with the following objectives:

  • Protect groundwater resources for beneficial uses;
  • Protect innocent property owners from liability attributable to past practices;
  • Preserve property values; and,
  • Contribute to a vital local economy.

In 1997, the Nevada Legislature amended the NRS, adding NRS 540A.265 to fund the CTMRD program through a Remediation Fee. Since 1999, general tax bills for parcels within the CTMRD service area boundary have included this Remediation Fee. Service Area Boundary and Contaminant Boundary maps are on the Downloads: Maps & Reports page.

Wellhead Treatment Comes Online in 1996

Mill Corbett municipal supply water well and PCE treatment systemAs local stakeholders worked to craft a framework to assess and manage PCE contamination in Reno and Sparks, and maintain a water supply that met federal drinking water standards, treatment systems were designed and installed at five municipal water supply wells owned by Sierra Pacific Power Company (now Truckee Meadows Water Authority or TMWA). TMWA's High Street and Morrill Avenue wells were retrofit to include PCE treatment systems in 1995 (coming online in 1996). In 1997, treatment at the Mill Street well came online. In 1998, treatment came online for the Corbett School and Kietzke Lane wells. Read more about the partnership between Washoe County and TMWA to maintain the viability of these essential wells at Our Work: Current Activities & Projects

1996 Work Plan

Beginning in 1995, CTMRD program activities began with a focus on characterizing the nature and extent of the PCE contamination in the central Truckee Meadows in order to determine an effective approach to address the situation (Camp, Dresser, and McKee, 1996, Central Truckee Meadows Remediation District Final Work Plan). Between 1998 and 2002, investigatory work focused on the sampling of surface water and groundwater wells, as well as the mapping of historic land use in order to identify Potentially Contributory Activities (that is, business types that may have used PCE). A site conceptual model was published in the 2001 Updated Work Plan (Camp, Dresser, and McKee). Several technical memoranda were published in 2002 outlining possible remedial actions, analyzing potential human health risks associated with PCE, modeling groundwater flow in the central Truckee Meadows aquifer system, and characterizing the contaminant transport mechanisms influencing PCE migration in the subsurface. The culmination of work done between 1995 and 2002 is published as part of the 2002 Remediation Management Plan.

2002 Remediation Management Plan

Development of a remediation management plan was a specific requirement of NRS 540A.260 when it was promulgated in 1995. The BCC adopted the CTMRD program's first Remediation Management Plan in 2002. The plan was also approved by Nevada Division of Environmental Protection.

The RMP defines the specific goals for meeting the following objectives:

  • Maintaining the continued use of groundwater in the central Truckee Meadows as a vital component of the public water supply;
  • Managing PCE in groundwater and/or surface water in such a manner so as to protect water users and property owners in the central Truckee Meadows;
  • Identifying and implementing remedial actions that are reasonably and economically feasible; and,
  • Equitably allocating the costs associated with the implementation of the Remediation Management Plan and its components among those who benefit from the existence of this program.

Work done through the CTMRD program since adoption of the 2002 RMP has resulted in a better understanding of the nature and extent of PCE contamination in the central Truckee Meadows. This work has also resulted in a better understanding of the aquifer system and the processes that influence the distribution and movement of PCE. Additionally, cooperation among stakeholder agencies have developed and collaborative efforts have improved over time. An update to the 2002 Remediation Management Plan is currently underway to document this improved understanding and the ways that the PCE problem is currently being approached.