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Refining Aquatic Life Designated Uses

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In 2008, EPA listed nearly 40,000 impaired waters. Virginia has assessed some 14,000 miles of rivers and streams for impairment. Of these, over 29 percent are considered impaired for the Aquatic Life Designated Use (ALDU). This ALDU is determined through the application of macroinvertebrate stream surveys.

Such impairments require the development of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs). Inadequately refined Designated Uses could waste resources and impede development because the goals may be unattainable. An industrial stakeholder group believed that the default ALDU, as applied to a central Appalachian stream, was not attainable. The group commissioned a use attainability analysis (UAA). This paper discusses the UAA efforts to date.

Keywords: TMDL; UAA; Use attainability analysis; benthic impairment; designated use; existing use; water quality standards

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-01-01

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