VIRGINIA’S TMDL PROCESS
Water Quality Standards • Standards are regulations based on federal and state law that set: • numeric and narrative limits on pollutants. • Purpose of standards: • protection of 5 designated uses: aquatic life, fishing, shellfish, swimming, & drinking water • restoration of state waters - TMDLs • Listing of impaired waters and TMDL development are based on WQ standards.
Identifying Impaired Waters 305(b) and 303(d) WATER QUALITYREPORTS
THUMB RUN IMPAIRMENT • 1998 303(d) List: 7 violations -15 samples • 2000 Assessment: 6 violations -15 samples • Preliminary results for 2002 Assessment: 4 violations -16 samples
FECAL COLIFORM BACTERIA STANDARD • Fecal Coliform • bacteria is an Indicator of human or animal waste - not a pathogen • But there is a higher probability of pathogens existing in waters that violate the standard
FECAL COLIFORM STANDARD • 1000 count per 100 milliliters of water • Applicable for data sets - monthly samples • Listed as impaired if violation rate is greater than 10% • TMDL requires 0% violation rate • Geometric mean - 200 count per 100 milliliters • Applicable for data sets with 2 or more samples in 30 days • TMDLs expressed in terms of geometric mean
What is a TMDL ? A Special Study to: • Identify all sources of pollution contributing to violation of water quality standards. • Calculate the amount of pollutants entering the stream from each source. • Calculate the reductions in pollutants, by source, needed to attain/maintain water quality standards. • (Must include MOS)
8 Required Elements of a TMDL • 1. Be developed for critical stream conditions; • 2. Be developed to meet water quality standards; • 3. Consider seasonal variations; • 4. Include wasteload and load allocations; • 5. Include a margin of safety; • 6. Consider impacts of background contributions; • 7. Be subjected to public participation. • 8. Reasonable assurance.
TMDL Public Participation Process • Public Notices and Public Meetings during TMDL development • Submit to EPA for approval. • SWCB adoption of TMDL as regulation. • Include TMDL in WQMPs
TMDL Implementation • DEQ is required by state legislation to develop implementation plans • DCR has lead for NPS TMDL implementation plans • DEQ, DCR, VDH, and other state agencies will coordinate IP development with LOCAL STAKEHOLDERS!
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS!! • We can make nonpoint BMPs Work without regulation! • Funding available for implementation! • Local shareholder help make the choices - OR • “the hard way” • TMDLs may impact Point Source Permits
FUTURE OF TMDL PROGRAM • Expect Changes - EPA Regulation Changes • Resource needs at all levels -2000 Study for General Assembly & up-coming budget cycle -Federal Funds • Anticipate changes in WQS
Standards Technical Issues: Issues Related to 305/303/TMDL/ Permit Concerns: Bacterial Indicators Wildlife Background Bacteria Recreational Uses Dissolved Oxygen Shellfish Prohibitions
Process for Changing Current Water Quality Standards • Tri-annual Review • The public participation process for changes in Virginia’s water quality standards has begin. • DEQ is exploring “reasonable” changes for application of bacteria standard that will not compromise human health.
IMPACTS: • UAA-wildlife issue • Adopted TMDLs may be re-opened! • Revised Stds. may impact Implementation Plans! - STAGED APPROACH
Public Participation EPA Public Participation Public Participation EPA EPA Water Quality Monitoring Control Meas. Mgmt. Strat. Assessments (Point, NPS) Water Quality Standards 305 (b) Report (Point, NPS) Watershed Plans 303(e), etc. 303(d) Waters TMDLs CONTINUING PLANNING PROCESS