Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Rule

Ending nearly three years of strong resistance, EPA formally withdrew its Clinton-era revisions to federal rules on runoff pollution. Rather than finalizing the rule, the agency plans to continue to implement and enforce its existing TMDL program.

Implementation of the revised TMDL rule, which was issued in July of 2000, had been held up by Congress, stakeholder lawsuits and additional comment periods. Because of the controversy sparked by the 2000 rule, EPA decided to delay its effective date until April 30, 2003. But the agency last year concluded that the revisions were not workable, and has now taken it off the books.

The July 2000 TMDL rule would have required the states to prepare more comprehensive lists of waters impaired by runoff. It also would have required EPA’s Office of Water to approve all components of state TMDL implementation, including lists of mitigation.

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