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Water: Water Quality Standards Academy

Basic Course: Supplemental Topics (l)

Listing Impaired Waters and Developing TMDLs

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Development of the 303(d) List and TMDLs: Public Participation

Public participation is required as part of the development of 303(d) lists and TMDLs. For instance, landowners, watershed organizations, government agencies, and other stakeholders often assist with the process.

Participation may include the following:

  • The public has the opportunity to provide data and information that the state/tribe may use—based on reasonable standards of quality—to make listing determinations.
  • The public can review and comment on draft impaired waters lists.
  • Once the draft TMDL is completed for a listed water, the public may review and comment on the proposed TMDL.
  • The public can also work with the state/tribe to develop a third-party TMDL.

More generally, the public is encouraged to become involved in the TMDL process by joining (or starting) a watershed, lake, or river association. Such groups can provide opportunities to monitor water quality, identify pollution sources, and identify possible control actions.

Resource. For more information, see EPA’s Web page on Volunteer Monitoring.

Resource. For guidance on third-party TMDL development, see the Water Environment Federation’s Third-Party TMDL Development Tool Kit. Exit EPA Disclaimer

For informational purposes only–Not official statements of EPA policy.

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