Bacteria TMDL implementation control strategies of the southeast
Haynes, Rebecca Lynn
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Since the inception of the Clean Water Act (CWA) more than 20 years ago, the reduction and elimination of non-point source pollutants and their sources has not been adequately addressed. Due to citizen lawsuits, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now under consent orders to follow, implement, and enforce Section 303(d) of the CWA to address this problem. Section 303(d) stipulates that States identify and set total maximum daily loads (TMDL) of pollutants that can be assimilated by a waterbody without violating its water quality standard; and requires that plans be developed to allocate these loads to different point and non-point sources. Through the Initiative for Watershed Excellence: Upper Altamaha Pilot Project, I examine the issues associated with TMDL implementation plans for bacteria in the state of Georgia. Methods include reviewing relevant literature, policy, and water quality improvement projects in Georgia and in other Southeastern states: Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. This process also includes interviews with stakeholders and government officials in relevant areas. Goals consist of: 1) examining the issues associated with creating effective bacteria TMDL implementation plans; 2) showing control strategies in other states that could be implemented in Georgia to decrease inputs; 3) assimilating tools from other states that could improve the process of bacteria TMDL implementation planning in Georgia; and 4) highlighting opportunities for interstate collaborations to meet shared water quality improvement goals.