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“Using Collaborative Decision-Making to Implement TMDLs”

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

Citation:  Pp. 525-531 in Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Environmental Regulations: Proceedings of the March 11-13, 2002 Conference, (Fort Worth, Texas, USA)  701P0102.(doi:10.13031/2013.7606)
Authors:   Katherine E. Bunting-Howarth,

In order to achieve many of the promulgated the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) for Delawares watersheds, significant reductions of nonpoint source pollution are needed. Dissolved oxygen and nutrients are major concerns for the waters of the State. However, nonpoint sources of pollution are usually not the subject of regulation and reductions are usually the result of voluntary measures. In order to meet load reductions from nonpoint sources, community involvement, political will and reliable funding will be essential. Thus, Delaware is moving forward with implementing these TMDLs by using a process that includes the public in the drafting of the implementation plan regulations instead of at the end as required in administrative procedures. In Delaware, Pollution Control Strategies (PCS), or TMDL implementation plans, are being drafted by Tributary Action Teamsgroups of citizens with different interests, beliefs and values. This example of bottom-up policy-making hopes to gain public support for the TMDL along with the actions necessary to achieve the quality standards.

This paper will describe the general process being used in six of Delawares watersheds where TMDLs are or will be established. Successes and failures of the first group of Tributary Action Teams, for the Inland Bays, will be discussed. In addition, the hurdles that the first Tributary Acton Teams needed to overcome to be successful are discussed. Also, the paper reviews how the public participation process has been transformed by the younger Tributary Action Teams given, their unique membership and community characteristics.

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