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Improving Water Quality: TMDLs
Since 2001, States and EPA established or approved more than 8,000 Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs). In 2001 and 2002, States and EPA developed TMDLs for waters that are not meeting water quality standards. In FY 2005, EPA will work with States, interstate agencies, and tribes to foster a watershed approach as the guiding principle of clean water programs. Application of the watershed approach at the local level allows decision-makers to assess most critical problems, better deploy resources and determine the cumulative impact of activities. EPA is encouraging states to develop comprehensive state watershed plans, a significant tool toward that end. Where water quality standards are not being attained, states will need to establish TMDLs. Most TMDLs are clustered within a watershed Establishing TMDLs on a watershed basis reduces costs and fosters innovations, such as water quality trading and watershed-based permitting.
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