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TMDL Alternatives: Category 4b Success Stories and Other Options

  • 02 Nov 2017
  • 1:00 PM - 5:30 PM
  • Marriott Hotel, 425 North Cherry St, Winston-Salem, NC


  • no plans to be a member of NCAEP

Registration is closed

Please join NC Water Resources Association and NC Association of Environmental Professionals in downtown Winston Salem on Thursday, November 2 to hear Marion Hopkins (EPA Region 4), Cam NcNutt (NCDEQ), and Andrew McDaniel (NCDOT) discuss TMDL Alternatives: Category 4B Success Stories and Other Options.  This workshop will focus on alternatives for addressing impaired waters without full TMDL development and implementation and where such alternatives have been successfully implemented.

DATE:             November 2, 2017    


                       Marriott - Downtown Winston-Salem
                       425 North Cherry Street
                       Winston-Salem, NC 27101

SOCIAL:         5:30 PM

                       Foothills Brewpub

                       638 West Fourth St.

                       Winston-Salem, NC 27101

EPA Perspective on Alternative Restoration Approaches

Marion Hopkins,  EPA Region 4

The Clean Water Act statute and regulations are clear. Impaired waters require Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) or an enforceable plan, known as Category 4B demonstrations, designed to meet water quality standards in a reasonable amount of time. Many 4B approaches are relatively straightforward and involve permit limits or specific actions. Still, the bar for 4B demonstrations can be relatively high, requiring similar technical rigor and costs as a TMDL with an accompanying implementation plan.

EPA recognizes that under certain circumstances there are alternative restoration approaches that may be more immediately beneficial or practicable in achieving standards than pursing the TMDL approach in the near term. Placing an impaired water in Category 5-ALT keeps it on the 303(d) list but acknowledges the presence of restoration activities on the ground. This has several benefits including flexibility to leverage partnerships and resources as well as transparency to the public as waterbody restoration moves forward. While a 5-ALT approach may help justify a lower priority for TMDL development or 4B demonstration, the Clean Water Act ultimately requires specific actions if impaired waters are not restored in a timely manner.

Another opportunity to restore waters where TMDLs are not required is Category 4C. The United States Geological Survey reports that hydrologic and habitat alteration is extensive across the nation, and may be a primary cause of ecological impairment. Yet the identification of this problem is underreported. Examples include water withdrawals, impoundments, or extreme high flows that scour out stream beds, destabilize stream banks and cause a loss of habitat. When a water is impaired in this way, states can list, or in some cases delist, waters to Category 4C. States and stakeholders can then adopt a variety of approaches to understand the extent of these problems and to make the case for restoring them.

Ms. Hopkins will share some examples of alternative restoration approaches in other southeastern States.

Strategies for Addressing Impaired Waters in North Carolina

Cam McNutt, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Division of Water Resources

There are over 1,100 Clean Water Act Section 303(d) impaired waters in North Carolina.  NC Department of Environmental Quality is responsible for identifying impaired waters and developing restoration plans for these waters.  This presentation will provide an overview of the water quality assessment process, prioritization process and the different types of restoration plans or strategies. Water quality assessment includes development of the Integrated Report (303d list and 305b).  Prioritization includes workflows for identifying waters for plan development by DEQ staff.  There are three basic restoration plan types- TMDL, 4b demonstration, and 5r  demonstration.  The presentation will describe the differences and pros and cons of each planning approach.  There will also be a brief demonstration of tools and workflows being developed in DEQ to streamline the planning process.

Little Alamance Creek 4b Restoration Plan

Andrew McDaniel, P.E., North Carolina Department of Transportation Stormwater Program

The City of Burlington, City of Graham, and NCDOT worked together on a 4b Demonstration Plan to improve the water quality within Little Alamance Creek. The 4b Demonstration Plan is one of the first of its kind, in both the state and the country. The 4b Plan was approved in January 2015 and is the document that serves as the guidance for the NCDOT's stormwater program within Little Alamance Creek.  This presentation will provide insight into the planning process and the success the NCDOT has had in working to improve water quality while fulfilling NCDOT's mission of providing and supporting a safe and integrated transportation system that enhances the state.

Workshop Agenda

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PO Box #17512
Raleigh, NC 27619

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