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Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) to Stormwater Permits Handbook

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Stormwater runoff is a significant contributor to water quality impairments across the country, particularly runoff from developing and urbanized areas. Currently there are thousands of Clean Water Act (CWA) section 303(d) listed waters impaired for stormwater-source pollutants such as pathogens, nutrients, sediments and metals. To effectively address these impairments it is important to strengthen connections between two key federal programs under the CWA—the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permitting program. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently developed a draft resource entitled TMDLs to Stormwater Permits Handbook (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2008) to address challenges that are unique to TMDL development and implementation involving permitted stormwater discharges. The Handbook provides a reference for TMDL practitioners and stormwater permit writers on current approaches for developing more detailed stormwater-source wasteloadallocations, coordinating numeric wasteload allocations and NPDES stormwater permit requirements, and supporting TMDL implementation with a better understanding of the process to analyze and select stormwater best management practices (BMPs).

The Handbook contains information to give TMDL practitioners and stormwater permit writers a better understanding of (1) cross-program regulatory requirements and programmatic processes; (2) current efforts to establish better cross-program connections; and (3) opportunities to further improve how the TMDL and NPDES stormwater programs interact to address stormwater-related water quality impairments. Real-world examples illustrate concepts and approaches for promoting improved implementation of TMDLs through stormwater permits. This paper will discuss key information, case studies and approaches contained in theHandbook. In addition, this paper will identify evolving issues and challenges as EPA and state TMDL practitioners and stormwater permit writers consider and test new approaches and strategies in the future.

Keywords: National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits; Total Maximum Daily Load Program (TMDL); impaired waters; section 303(d); stormwater; water quality standards

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-01-01

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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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