VIRGINIA'S TMDL IMPLEMENTATION PLAN DEVELOPMENT
Abstract:Stakeholder participation and buy-in are integral parts of VDCR's Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) development and implementation planning efforts. Considerable effort was undertaken to create focus groups and steering committees whose majority membership were watershed residents with as little governmental involvement as possible. State governmental agencies role was to facilitate these meetings and to assure state and federal requirements were achieved. Due to the variability in the required reductions for TMDLs developed in Virginia and non-linear implementation costs associated with these reductions, it is extremely important that watershed planning efforts are both specific and comprehensive. TMDL implementation requires specificity of individual contributing pollutant sources and their relative contributions. Targeting the precise implementation measures is essential to achieving water quality goals. Continually going back to stakeholders in piece meal fashion can result in frustration and alienation of the affected communities. VDCR has developed very site and pollutant specific TMDL implementation plans (TMDL IP) that explicitly address the reductions required by the two-nitrate nitrogen and twelve fecal bacteria TMDLs addressed in these plans. These plans provide a case study on the use of remote sensing techniques, Geographic Information System (GIS), monitoring data, and watershed modeling to effectively inventory, target BMP placement, and establish costs. Without the ability to effectively target Best Management Practices (BMP) placement pollutant reduction goals can be adversely affected. For example the bacterial TMDL IP for Lower Dry River illustrates that if 50% implementation of the required livestock exclusion systems is not targeted a 54% exceedance of the applicable water quality standard occurs. Yet with targeting of the 50% BMP placement the exceedance rate drops to 31% of the applicable standard. Without quantifying BMP types and overall numbers a valid cost benefit analysis cannot be developed. Without the ability to quantify control measures and target placement of these measures, developing schedules for water quality milestones or projecting dates of water quality achievement will be extremely difficult. By demonstrating the need for targeting specified BMPs, gaining the support of affected stakeholders and conservation groups in the TMDL IP process is enhanced. Also, groups such as local soil and water conservation districts have an increased understanding of the watershed specific problem(s) and chance for demonstrating success in the control of non-point sources of pollution.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2003-01-01
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