EPA has released a draft total maximum daily load (TMDL) for Chesapeake Bay that calls for a 25-percent reduction in nitrogen and phosphorous and a 16-percent reduction in sediment through a combination of federal and state actions. 75 Fed. Reg. 57,776 (9/22/10).
The plan would apply to the Chesapeake Bay watershed, which includes seven jurisdictions—Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Those jurisdictions recently submitted watershed implementation plans (WIPs) to EPA on actions they would take to reduce nutrient and sediment loading to the bay.
According to EPA, some of those WIPs were deficient, and the agency identified measures it would use, if necessary, such as (i) intervening in the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting programs to ensure that nutrient removal standards as high as the “limit of technology” apply to the jurisdiction’s wastewater treatment plants in the watershed, (ii) extending nutrient and sediment control standards for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to smaller animal feeding operations on a case-by-case basis, and (iii) expanding types of storm water outfalls in urban and suburban settings subject to Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems permits. EPA requests comments by November 8, 2010.