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SENSITIVITY OF THE REFERENCE WATERSHED APPROACH IN BENTHIC TMDLS
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: Pp. 216-221 in Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Environmental Regulations–II Proceedings of the 8-12 November 2003 Conference (Albuquerque, New Mexico USA), Publication Date 8 November 2003. .(doi:10.13031/2013.15561)
Authors: R.C. Wagner, T. Dillaha, E. Yagow, S. Mostaghimi, B. Benham, K. Brannan, J. Wynn, R. Zeckoski
Keywords: TMDL, benthic, water quality, reference watershed
The Clean Water Act is the primary water quality legislation in the United States. The Act is
designed to uphold the physical, chemical and biological integrity of the nation’s waters. In
Virginia, benthic macroinvertebrates are the primary indicator used to assess biological integrity.
When the biota of a given waterbody is deemed impaired, the TMDL process is initiated. The
primary stressors on the biota are then determined and the necessary reductions to those stressors
are calculated. These stressors can come from either point or non-point source pollution.