TMDL Action Plans
The Clean Water Act requires that States set appropriate uses for their waters and adopt water quality standards that protect those uses. When waters do not meet these standards, the Act requires that a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) or "pollution diet" be established that sets the maximum amount of pollutants that a waterway can receive without violating water quality standards.
The Environmental Protection Agency, in conjunction with the Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions, established a TMDL for the Chesapeake Bay. This TMDL sets overall pollution limits for Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Total Suspended Solids and allocates required reductions in those pollutants of concern to the various states. The Commonwealth of Virginia has developed strategies to meet its required reductions in Nitrogen,Phosphorus and Total Suspended Solids. One of Virginia’s strategies is torequire MS4 permittees (such as the City of Portsmouth) to achieve specific reductionsin Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Total Suspended Solids that drain throughstormwater runoff into the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
The City of Portsmouth, in accordancewith its Individual MS4 Permit (issued by the Department of Environmental Qualityon July 1, 2016), must demonstrate its ability to meet the required reductionsin pollutant discharges through the development of a Chesapeake Bay TMDL ActionPlan. This plan must be submitted to the Department of Environmental Quality byJuly 1, 2018.
The Virginia Department ofEnvironmental Quality establishes TMDLs for impaired waterways of theCommonwealth for various pollutants of concern. The Virginia Department ofEnvironmental Quality has established two TMDLs for the City of Portsmouth:"Bacteria Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Development for the ElizabethRiver Watershed (dated April 2010 and approved by the SWCB on September 30,2010)" and “Bacteria Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Development for theHoffler Creek Watershed (dated September 2011 and approved by the SWCB on June29, 2012." Both of these TMDL reports require reductions inbacterial discharges from various sources of pollution. As a MS4 permittee, theCity of Portsmouth must achieve specified reductions in bacteria that drainthrough stormwater runoff into local impaired waterways.
The City of Portsmouth, in accordancewith its Individual MS4 Permit (issued by the Department of EnvironmentalQuality on July 1, 2016), must demonstrate its ability to meet the requiredreductions in bacterial discharges through the development of TMDL Action Plansfor the Elizabeth River Watershed and Hoffler Creek Watershed. This plan mustbe submitted to the Department of Environmental Quality by July 1, 2018.
TO SUBMIT COMMENTS ON THE CITY OFPORTSMOUTH’S TMDL ACTION PLANS, please use the following form (INSERTLINK) and insert “TMDL Action Plan Comments” in the subject line.