TECHNICAL CHALLENGES IN DEVELOPING TMDLs IN NEW MEXICO
In 1997, a settlement agreement was signed between the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and environmental groups concerning the development of total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) in New Mexico. A consent decree (Forest Guardians and Southwest Environmental Center v. Carol Browner, Administrator, US EPA, Civil Action 96-0826 LH/LFG, 1997) laid out an ambitious schedule for the development of TMDLs throughout the state. Section 303(d) of the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) requires states to develop TMDL management plans for water bodies determined to be water quality limited. A TMDL documents the amount of a pollutant a water body can assimilate without violating a state's water quality standards. TMDLs also allocate a load capacity to known point sources and nonpoint sources at a given flow. TMDLs are defined in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 130 as the sum of the individual waste load allocations (WLAs) for point sources and load allocations (LAs) for nonpoint sources and a margin of safety.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2000-01-01
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