In an attempt to identify potential environmental problems within the PRIDE region, a general assessment formula was developed that seeks to quantify the magnitude of environmental impacts on a county basis. Such a tool can be used to help allocate resources to address specific problems and to help target locations for additional water quality monitoring.
a score for each county, different problem indicators were summed, normalized,
and weighted to obtain a single score for each area. The final score was
based on a combination of observed impacts and potential impacts. Observed
impacts were quantified on the basis of the number of miles of stream
within a county that did not meet their designated uses. The potential
impacts were based on: 1) estimated number of straight pipes/failing septic
systems, 2) total estimated design capacity of package plants, 3) total
design effluent capacity of all permitted wastewater treatment facilities,
4) number of illegal dumps, and 5) number of mines. In the absence of
any specific ranking criteria, each potential impact was assumed to have
an equal weight.
Using the E-rank formula developed based on indicators discussed above, potential impact scores were developed for each county in the region. A rank of the counties by score is developed (refer to link immediately below this paragraph). It should be emphasized that the final score represents a relative measure of potential problems and not necessarily an absolute one since the magnitude of a particular impact (e.g., dumps, mines, etc.) may be influenced by factors not explicitly considered (i.e., size of the facility, proximity to a stream, frequency and magnitude of discharge violations, etc.). Nevertheless, the score does provide some measure of comparison between counties on the basis of the selected indicators.