Water quality standards State-adopted EPA-approved Apply to waterbodies, not pollution sources Prescribe uses of waterbodies Establish water quality criteria to protect Include antidegradation policy
Examples of Uses and Criteria Use: swimming Criteria: fecal coliform bacteria not to exceed 200 per 100 ml of water Use: trout Criteria: temperature not to vary from natural conditions Water quality standards
Data Types Water chemistry and fecal coliform bacteria Most recent 5 years of data Biological Most recent data Shellfish consumption Most recent classifications Fish consumption Most recent advisories
Section 303(d) Federal Clean Water Act (1972) Requires states to submit list of sites not meeting state water quality standards to EPA every two years Requires states to develop a Total Maximum Daily Load (“TMDL”) for each pollutant causing impairment If states don’t develop list or TMDLs, EPA must do it !
No sites with acute impacts on 303(d) list No sites with acute impacts on 303(d) list Acute impacts to water quality dealt with immediately Acute impacts to water quality dealt with immediately List includes persistent impairments identified through water quality monitoring List includes persistent impairments identified through water quality monitoring Determining Impairment
In other words… Listing is based on results of measurements and sampling performed by DHEC or other acceptable sources.
What is a TMDL ? Total Maximum Daily Load Maximum amount of a pollutant that a waterbody can receive from all sources, and still meet water quality standards Maximum allowable amounts of point and nonpoint source contributions, plus a margin of safety
Identify suitable approach, based on Pollutant(s) of concern Available data Watershed size, characteristics EPA’s approval Characterize existing pollutant loads Determine percent reduction from each source so that instream water quality standards are met TMDL Development Process
TMDL Facts TMDL process includes public notice, comment period All TMDLs must be approved by EPA Final TMDL confers no additional regulatory authority to DHEC TMDL implementation through existing regulatory and non-regulatory mechanisms
TMDLs in South Carolina 312 Approved TMDLs 51 TMDLs being implemented 17 primarily point sources 34 primarily nonpoint sources Check our web site for notices: www.scdhec.gov/water
Know your watersheds! Become familiar with 303(d) list TMDLs will be developed for these waters (unless WQ improves!) If a TMDL has already been developed for your watershed Apply for a grant to implement voluntary portion If no TMDL has been developed Develop it in cooperation w/ DHEC & EPA
Current Issues Coastal septic tank study 401 for Corps Nationwide permit FERC relicensing Thermal imaging in shellfish waters Interstate issues