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Water: Total Maximum Daily Loads (303d)

Memo: EPA Review of 2002 Section 303(d) Lists and Guidelines for Reviewing TMDLs under Existing Regulations issued in 1992

May 20, 2002


SUBJECT: EPA Review of 2002 Section 303(d) Lists and Guidelines for Reviewing TMDLs under Existing Regulations issued in 1992

FROM: Charles H. Sutfin /s/
Director, Assessment and Watershed Protection Division
Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds

TO: Water Quality Branch Chiefs, Regions I-X
TMDL Coordinators, Regions I-X
Monitoring Coordinators, Regions I-X
ORC TMDL Attorneys, Regions I-X

        Please find attached two guidance documents for your use as you review the 2002 Section 303(d) lists and review and approve TMDLs. These documents will be made available to the public on EPA's TMDL website. The first document describes the statutory and regulatory requirements for approvable TMDLs. It also sets out additional information generally needed for EPA to determine if a submitted TMDL fulfills the legal requirements for approval under Section 303(d) and EPA regulations. This document is an attempt to summarize and provide guidance regarding currently effective TMDL statutory and regulatory requirements, which were issued in 1985 and amended in 1992.

        The second documents provides a recommended framework for EPA approval decisions on the 2002 State Section 303(d) lists. This document is intended to provide materials that will help Regions in preparing their decisions on the State list submissions and promote consistency among those decisions.

        We strongly recommend that you work with your States to assess the adequacy of the methodologies they are using to develop the lists, and to identify areas where the State methodologies may need refinements or strengthening.

        As we did in the review process for the1998 Section 303(d) lists, we encourage you to work with your Regional Counsel in the development of the decision document. We would like to see a draft of the decision document before you send it to the States. Our intent is to ensure that we have as complete and supportable documents as possible.
        We look forward to working with you. If you have any questions, please contact Hazel Groman at 202-566-1219, Mike Haire at 202-566-1224, or Susmita Dubey at 202-564-5577.

cc: Water Division Directors, Regions I-X
Lee Schroer, OGC

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