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Tmdl Implementation: Lessons Learned

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Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and TMDL implementation plans are being developed across the country using a variety of approaches, with varying levels of detail, stakeholder participation, and success. In order to identify the specific characteristics and approaches that facilitated implementation and water quality improvement, case studies of watersheds undergoing successful implementation were developed. Factors that positively and negatively affected implementation efforts were identified and summarized based on these case studies. The results of the assessment showed that each watershed presented unique resources and problems, and thus no one approach will guarantee success in all watersheds. However, there are several factors that seem to aid effective implementation: adequate funding, government agency interest and involvement; stakeholder meetings during TMDL development; stakeholder interest and involvement; the presence of a TMDL where the pollutant and needed reductions were systematically assessed and quantified; targeted implementation; staged/phased implementation; and outreach and/or educational activities. The most common factors negatively affecting implementation efforts in the assessed watersheds included lack of data and lack of funding.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-10-01

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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