Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)
Despite extensive restoration efforts during the last 25 years, the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries remain unhealthy. To restore water quality, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) of nutrients and sediment that can be put into the Bay.
States in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed must provide the EPA with a Watershed Improvement Plan (WIP) detailing what will be done to conform to the TMDL. There are two phases in the WIP:
- Phase 1 – develop a detailed listing of all of the sources of pollution that flow into the Bay - Status: Complete and available online
- Phase 2 – develop an implementation plan - Status: In progress. Each state must submit to the EPA locality-specific plans to reduce nutrients and sediment no later than Nov. 1, 2011. Final plans are due to EPA no later than Mar. 30, 2012.
In May 2011, James City County (JCC) received preliminary nutrient and sediment reduction goals from the State and a suite of best management practices (BMPs) to meet those goals. Initial review of these targets reveals that several of the suggested BMPs are either not practical or do not reflect the type of land use in JCC. Furthermore, JCC has not yet received final nutrient and sediment reduction goals needed to develop plans for our locality.
JCC will evaluate the TMDL and provide the State with actions JCC would consider implementing as part of the Bay restoration partnership. To have data included in the State’s Phase 2 WIP, the County must submit its final strategy or strategies no later than Feb. 1, 2012.
In order to meet these deadlines, JCC has formed a Technical Recommendation Committee (TRC) to:
- review the Bay TMDL
- generate a County-appropriate suite of proposed BMPs or Community Conservation Information (strategy or strategies more than one may be prepared)
- estimate the costs to complete each of the BMPs
JCC staff from County Administration, Development Management, General Services, James City Service Authority and representatives from the Virginia Department of Health, Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District will meet to develop final recommendations to go to the Board of Supervisors no later than Jan. 1, 2012.
October 2011 Update: Final nutrient and sediment reduction goals are provided to the County in an online tool called the Virginia Scenario and Assessment Tool (VAST). The tool includes the data that the Chesapeake Bay watershed models use to evaluate conditions in JCC. Staff begins evaluating the data.
November 2011 Update: The Chair of the James City County Board of Supervisors and the County Administrator receive a letter from Mr. David Johnson, Director, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, dated Nov. 9, 2011, and outlining the Commonwealth's approach to development of the Phase 2 WIP. The letter asks James City County to provide data answering five questions by Feb. 1, 2012.
Technical Recommendation Committee meetings
All meetings will be held in Building A, JCC Government Center, from 1-3 p.m.
NOTE: Since JCC has not yet received final pollution reduction goals, progress on developing the JCC’s strategies is delayed and will continue once data is provided by the State. New meeting dates will be set at that time.
- July 12 - Review the TMDL, reduction targets and suggested BMPs from the State - Meeting Notes
- July 26 - Identify alternate BMPs and estimate implementation costs. Identify resource needs - Meeting Notes
- Nov. 29, 2011 – Committee reviews Director Johnson's letter and makes recommendations to staff.
- Jan. 31, 2012 – The County Administrator provides the Department of Conservation and Recreation information developed by staff in response to Director Johnson's request. The information includes:
- March 14, 2012 - Director Johnson response to the County Administrator's submission - letter
Your input is welcome. Send an email to the TRC at email@example.com or call 757-259-1440.
For more information on the Chesapeake Bay TMDL:
- EPA Impaired waters and TMDL
- EPA Chesapeake Bay TMDL
- Hampton Roads Planning District Commission
- Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality Chesapeake Bay TMDL
- Virginia Dept. of Conservation & Recreation Bay TMDL
- Chesapeake Bay TMDL and Phase II Watershed Implementation Planning, Hampton Roads Watershed Roundtable, Feb. 3, 2011
- Chesapeake Bay TMDL Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan, The Chesapeake Bay Stormwater Training Partnership, June 8, 2011
- Proposed BMPS for James City County from the State
- Proposed County Reductions from the State
- Commonwealth of Virginia WIP II Preparation and Locality Engagement Process flowchart
- Hampton Roads Planning District Commission Chesapeake Bay TMDL brochure
- Definitions of BMP Categories and Types
- Our Waters, Our Towns - Local Governments' Role in the Watershed Implementation Plans
- Virginia Public Radio coverage