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WATERSHED-BASED NPDES PERMITTING: CURRENT APPROACHES AND FUTURE DIRECTION

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Watershed Management to Meet Water Quality Standards and Emerging TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) Proceedings of the Third Conference 5-9 March 2005 (Atlanta, Georgia USA) Publication Date 5 March 2005  701P0105.(doi:10.13031/2013.18061)
Authors:   P.J. Bradley, B. Valente, M.P. Sullivan, and J. Molloy
Keywords:   Watershed Based-Permitting, wet weather, storm water, combined sewer overflow, sanitary sewer overflow, watershed, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), Permit, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is committed to integrating watershed management into program implementation across a wide range of programs and providing the necessary tools to ensure innovative approaches to watershed management move beyond the conceptual phase. In December 2002, the EPA Office of Water Assistant Administrator issued a policy memo entitled Committing EPAs Water Program to Advancing the Watershed Approach (USEPA, 2002b). This policy memo not only reaffirms EPAs commitment to the watershed approach but also reenergizes efforts to ensure that EPA as a whole fully integrates the approach into program implementation. The memo directs the Agency to accelerate efforts to develop and issue NPDES permits on a watershed basis. Following the watershed approach policy memo, EPA released the Watershed-Based NPDES Permitting Policy Statement. This statement communicates EPAs policy on implementing NPDES permitting activities on a watershed basis, discusses the benefits of watershed-based permitting, presents an explanation of the process and several mechanisms to implement watershed-based permitting, and outlines how EPA will encourage watershed-based permitting. EPA also recently released the Watershedbased National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permitting Implementation Guidance. This guidance describes the concept of and the process for watershed-based permitting under the NPDES permit program.

The paper and presentation will describe efforts currently underway to advance watershed approaches. It will provide and discuss examples that highlight different approaches that have been implemented. The paper and presentation will also describe efforts to focus watershed approaches on control of wet weather sources.

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