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Addressing Stormwater Source-Impairments Through the Development of Surrogate TMDLs

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Thousands of waterbodies appear on state Clean Water Act (CWA) ยง303(d) lists for aquatic life use and stream biota impairments due to stressors from stormwater discharges in urban areas. Impacts from stormwater discharges may increase loadings of such pollutants where hydrologic changes such as quantity of flow and variation in flow regimes are important factors in their transport. These multiple stressors, along with the lack of information indicating any specific pollutant is causing or contributing to an exceedance of a particular water quality criterion, often make it difficult to identify which pollutant is the most suitable for TMDL analyses. Therefore, using a surrogate measure, such as stormwater flow or impervious cover, that integrates the effects of multiple stressors and represent pollutant loadings may, at times, be the appropriate approach for calculating the TMDL loading capacity and restoring waterbodies affected by urban stormwater. This paper will present summaries of two surrogate TMDLs outlining the types of approaches used for identifying an appropriate target value and demonstrating a strong linkage between water quality standards attainment, the impairment, and the surrogate measure.

Keywords: 303(d); Clean Water Act; TMDL; impaired waters; impervious cover; stormwater flow; stormwater runoff volume; surrogate TMDLs

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-01-01

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