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TMDL Program Priorities (2016-2022)

DEQ is implementing the national 303(d) Program Vision which calls for the prioritization of impaired waters for TMDL or TMDL alternative development over a six year window (currently 2016-2022). EPA announced the 303(d) Program Vision in December 2013, making this 2016-2022 priority window the first phase of the Vision. While the national 303(d) Program Vision involves prioritizing impaired waters for TMDL or TMDL alternative development, DEQ took this opportunity to also prioritize impaired waters that require a stressor analysis report or a natural conditions report.

In the summer of 2015, DEQ released a 2016-2022 draft list of prioritized impaired waters. This draft list was public noticed for a 30-day public comment period that started on July 27th, 2015. One comment was received during this public comment period that did not result in any changes to the priorities list. The final list of prioritized impaired waters was established following public comment period. Soon thereafter in early winter of 2015-2016, EPA announced that these priorities lists could be revised. This opportunity to revise the priorities list was due to challenges incurred by states throughout this first prioritization process, in addition to the fact that EPA was now allowing TMDL revisions to be included as priorities for the first time. DEQ revised the list of prioritized impaired waters and public noticed it for public comment from April 4th, 2016 to May 4th, 2016 with no comments received. Most recently in 2018, EPA gave states the opportunity to adjust their priorities lists to adapt to changes in program resources. This revised list was public noticed for public comment on April 2nd, 2018. The comment period ended on May 4th, 2018 with no comments received. This adjusted 2016-2022 TMDL program list of prioritized impaired waters can be found below with the impaired waters organized by City or County:

2016-2022 TMDL Program Priorities

Adjustments to priority waters in 2018 include the addition of 13 impaired waters in areas where TMDL projects were already underway, moving 5 waters from the DEQ internal priorities list to the EPA formal priorities list, removing 15 waters that are showing improvement in water quality, and removing 63 waters that were slated for the development of natural conditions reports.

More information on the process DEQ employed to prioritize impaired waters can be found in the Prioritization Process Description document.

A frequently asked questions document is also available to help explain the different types of priorities and the process for report development after a waterbody is prioritized.

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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