The TMDL Program Results Analysis Project

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USEPA is self-evaluating its Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program, which plays a prominent role in the Clean Water Act's identification, restoration, and recovery tracking of impaired waters. First, we clarified TMDL program expectations and identified measurable results concepts that relate to program goals. We reviewed recent analyses of the TMDL program to identify possible results patterns and developed evaluation metrics of three types. Response measures relate to partial or full recovery outcomes in impaired waters. Programmatic measures track key milestones or outputs in the TMDL program process. Explanatory measures assess linkages between environmental results and potential causes; these measures may reveal why certain results are occurring and focus attention on specific causes that should be addressed. This five-year project's accumulated insights will help improve the TMDL program. This paper provided the unifying context for a special session on TMDL results analysis at the Water Environment Federation's TMDL 2007 conference.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

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