[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 3 (Wednesday, January 5, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 549-550]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-33280]



[[Page 549]]

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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[FRL-9248-3]


Clean Water Act Section 303(d): Notice for the Establishment of 
the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Chesapeake Bay

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of Availability of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces EPA's establishment of the Chesapeake 
Bay (Bay) TMDL on December 29, 2010 for nitrogen, phosphorus and 
sediment for the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries. EPA provided 
a 45-day public review of the Draft Bay TMDL which was held from 
September 24 through November 8 of 2010. Based on comments and 
information EPA received from the public and affected jurisdictions 
during the public review period, EPA has revised the draft TMDL as 
appropriate and established the Bay TMDL for nitrogen, phosphorus and 
sediment for each of the 92 segments in the tidal portion of the 
Chesapeake Bay watershed pursuant to Sections 117(g) and 303(d) of the 
Clean Water Act (CWA). The TMDL provides pollutant loads for nitrogen, 
phosphorus and sediment which can enter a waterbody without causing a 
violation in the water quality standards. The TMDL allocates that 
pollutant load between point and nonpoint sources. The Bay TMDL 
contains segment specific point (wasteload) and non-point (load) 
allocations for nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment that when met will 
assure the attainment and maintenance of all applicable water quality 
standards for each of the 92 segments. The Bay TMDL is a key part of 
the clean water commitment in the Federal Strategy developed as part of 
Executive Order 13508 on Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration. EPA 
has worked closely with its federal partners, the six watershed states, 
the District of Columbia, local governments and other parties to put in 
place a comprehensive, transparent and accountable set of commitments 
and actions that together ensure that pollution controls needed to 
restore Bay water quality are implemented by no later than 2025 
(Executive Order, 13508).
    Additional information on the Bay TMDL can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl.
    Viewing: The TMDL can be viewed at http://www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl, in person at EPA Region III, 1650 Arch Street, 
Philadelphia, PA 19103 with proper arrangements made in advance with 
the Region 3 library (215-814-5254 or library-reg3@epa.gov) or at the 
EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Office at 410 Severn Avenue, Suite 112, 
Annapolis, MD 21403 (Contact Debbie Embleton 410-267-9856 or 
Embleton.debbie@epa.gov).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 303(d) of the CWA requires that each 
state identify those waters within its boundaries for which existing 
technology-based and other pollution controls required by the CWA are 
not stringent enough to attain or maintain state water quality 
standards. A TMDL must be established for each of those ``impaired'' 
waters. TMDLs are pollution budgets designed to identify necessary 
reductions of pollutant loads to the impaired waters so that the 
appropriate water quality standards are met, including designated uses 
like fishing or swimming and water quality criteria for parameters such 
as dissolved oxygen and water clarity.
    Background: EPA solicited comments on the Draft Bay TMDL during a 
45-day public review of the TMDL which was held from September 24 
through November 8 of 2010. During the review period EPA held 18 public 
meetings and webinars throughout the watershed to assist the public in 
their understanding of the draft TMDL. Based on comments EPA received 
from the public and affected jurisdictions during the public review 
period, as well as watershed implementation plans submitted by the 
jurisdictions, EPA has revised the draft TMDL as appropriate and is 
establishing the Bay TMDL for nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment for 
each of the 92 segments in the tidal portion of the Chesapeake Bay 
watershed pursuant to Sections 117 (g) and 303(d) of the Clean Water 
Act (CWA).
    Why was a TMDL developed for the Chesapeake Bay? The Chesapeake Bay 
is a national treasure constituting the largest estuary in the United 
States and one of the largest and most biologically productive 
estuaries in the world. Despite significant efforts by federal, state, 
and local governments and other interested parties, water pollution in 
the Chesapeake Bay prevents the attainment of existing state water 
quality standards. The pollutants that are largely responsible for 
impairment of the Chesapeake Bay are nitrogen, phosphorus, and 
sediment. EPA, in coordination with the Bay watershed jurisdictions of 
Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, 
Virginia, and West Virginia, established nitrogen, phosphorus and 
sediment pollution budget for the Bay consistent with CWA requirements 
to guide and assist Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts.
    Who developed the Bay TMDL? EPA Region III Water Protection 
Division was primarily responsible for the establishment of the Bay 
TMDL, at the request of the Bay jurisdictions. The Chesapeake Bay 
Program Office in EPA Region III had the modeling and water quality 
expertise needed to develop a TMDL. EPA Region II provided guidance and 
technical support to Region III and cosigned the final TMDL as New York 
State is included in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and sources in New 
York State (like the other jurisdictions) contribute nitrogen, 
phosphorus and sediment to the Bay. EPA used the Chesapeake Bay Program 
committee structure to engage the watershed jurisdictions in the 
development of the TMDL, including the Chesapeake Bay Water Quality 
Goal Implementation Team (formerly the Water Quality Steering Committee 
and Nutrient Subcommittee), which is composed of the seven Bay 
watershed jurisdictions, the Chesapeake Bay Commission, the Susquehanna 
River Basin Commission, the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River 
Basin, and EPA Regions II and III. Major policy input was provided by 
the Chesapeake Bay Program Principals' Staff Committee (Secretaries 
from each Bay jurisdiction, the Chesapeake Bay Commission Executive 
Director, and the EPA Region III Regional Administrator) and Executive 
Council (Bay watershed State Governors, Mayor of District of Columbia, 
the Chesapeake Bay Commission Chair, and the EPA Administrator).
    What is the scope of the Bay TMDL? The Bay TMDL addresses all 
segments of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries. The Bay TMDL 
consists of pollutant allocations, addressing nitrogen, phosphorus and 
sediment, for each of the 92 segments in the Bay and tidal tributaries. 
EPA intends that the Bay TMDL will be established at a level necessary 
to ensure attainment of water quality standards in each of these 
segments. In addition, the Bay TMDL assigns individual and (as 
appropriate) aggregate maximum daily and annual allowable point source 
and nonpoint source loadings, called wasteload allocations (WLAs) and 
load allocations (LAs), respectively, across all jurisdictions within 
the Bay watershed.
    How will the TMDL promote nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment 
reductions? Under CWA, the Bay TMDL established a watershed pollution 
budget for nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment

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necessary to meet water quality standards in the Bay. Other provisions 
of the CWA, as well as the jurisdictions' Watershed Implementation 
Plans (WIPs), were developed to implement the Bay TMDL. EPA worked with 
its partners, the Bay jurisdictions, to assist in their development of 
individual jurisdiction-specific WIPs, which collectively serve as part 
of the overall TMDL implementation framework. Those WIPs are not part 
of the Bay TMDL itself but are part of the TMDL record and help provide 
reasonable assurance that the necessary nitrogen, phosphorus and 
sediment reductions identified in the TMDL will be achieved. The WIPs 
identify specific nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment reduction targets 
by geographic location and sector to achieve allowable loadings, as 
well as a description and schedule of actions that the jurisdictions 
will take to achieve these reductions.
    In accordance with Executive Order 13508, EPA and the jurisdictions 
also will provide the next set of two-year milestone commitments 
specifying what source controls will be taken to reduce nitrogen, 
phosphorus and sediment during that period. Any questions or comments 
regarding the substance of the individual WIPs, or the WIPs themselves 
should be addressed to the individual jurisdiction. Links to the WIPs 
are available at http://www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl.

    Dated: December 29, 2010.
Jon M. Capacasa,
Water Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 
III.
[FR Doc. 2010-33280 Filed 1-4-11; 8:45 am]
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