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Total Maximum Daily Loads Highlights

Total Maximum Daily Loads Program

Two-Year TMDL Development Plan for State Fiscal Year 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 is now available online.

The Department has posted a detailed list of the specific waterbodies included on our two-year TMDL development plan. The regulatory development plan for the current state fiscal year (SFY), which runs from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015, includes 38 individual waterbodies which will be addressed through 10 TMDL rulemaking projects. The identified "business plan date" in the table is the anticipated date of developing a DRAFT TMDL and proposing TMDL rule language. Final adoption of the TMDL usually occurs one or two months after proposal.

The plan also includes the tentative waterbodies identified for development in SFY 2015-2016. While the plan is subject to change depending on overall Department priorities and directives, it represents the currently anticipated TMDL development work load and reflects feedback received from stakeholders during a series of public workshops. A corresponding map showing the status of development for each TMDL is also available.

Priority Framework Document

The August 8, 2014, draft of the Department's Priority Framework Document details how Florida implements the priority goal for TMDL development under the Clean Water Act Section 303(d) long-term vision. This document describes the overall approach we follow to set water quality standards, monitor water bodies, assess them against the criteria, develop restoration goals (TMDLs), and implement restoration plans. It primarily addresses how we prioritized our TMDL development and how we crafted the two-year TMDL plan.

Everglades sceneWhat is a TMDL?

A scientific determination of the maximum amount of a given pollutant that a surface water can absorb and still meet the water quality standards that protect human health and aquatic life. Water bodies that do not meet water quality standards are identified as "impaired" for the particular pollutants of concern--nutrients, bacteria, mercury, etc.--and TMDLs must be developed, adopted and implemented for those pollutants to reduce pollutants and clean up the water body.

The threshold limits on pollutants in surface waters--Florida's surface water quality standards on which TMDLs are based--are set forth primarily in rule 62-302, Florida Administrative Code, and the associated table of water quality criteria.

What are the basic steps in the TMDL program? How does it work?

  1. Assess the quality of surface waters--are they meeting water quality standards? (Surface Water Quality Standards - Chapter 62-302)
  2. Determine which waters are impaired--that is, which ones are not meeting water quality standards for a particular pollutant or pollutants.  (Impaired Waters Rule (IWR) - Chapter 62-303)
  3. Establish and adopt, by rule, a TMDL for each impaired water for the pollutants of concern--the ones causing the water quality problems. (TMDLs - Chapter 62-304)
  4. Develop, with extensive local stakeholder input, Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs) that....
  5. Implement the strategies and actions in the BMAP.
  6. Measure the effectiveness of the BMAP, both continuously at the local level and through a formal re-evaluation every five years.
  7. Adapt--change the plan and change the actions if things aren't working.
  8. Reassess the quality of surface waters continuously.

The Divisions are working on a more comprehensive approach to protecting Florida water quality involving basin-wide assessments and the application of a full range of regulatory and non-regulatory strategies to reduce pollution.  The Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is the heart of this comprehensive approach.

Locations of the Department's Adopted TMDLs

The DEP announces the availability of a PDF that displays the location of the Departmentís Adopted TMDLs as well as a PDF which shows the status of development for each TMDL (State Rule 62-304, Florida Administrative Code F.A.C.) within the State of Florida. Please help us improve our service by providing feedback on what you think of our Adopted TMDL PDF, whether the PDF is useful, and how could we make it better. Please contact Jonathan Turner (Jonathan.Turner@dep.state.fl.us), (850) 245-8438 or Janis Morrow (Janis.Morrow@dep.state.fl.us), (850) 245-8543.

For more information on the development of water quality restoration goals (TMDLs), send e-mail to Greg DeAngelo (Gregory.DeAngelo@dep.state.fl.us)

Water Quality Evaluation & TMDL Program
2600 Blair Stone Road - Mail Station 3555
 Tallahassee, FL, 32399-2400
Phone: (850) 245-7609

For information on TMDL grants, Section 319 (nonpoint source) grants, and other financial assistance for water infrastructure projects or implementation of urban or agricultural best management practices, please see our financial assistance webpage to determine what opportunities might be right for your project.


Basin 411

Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs)

Dissolved Oxygen Criteria in Surface Waters

Frequently Asked Questions


Overview of TMDL Program

Numeric Nutrient Criteria

Pollutant Trading PAC

TMDL Tracker

Watershed Assessment

TMDL Documents

Other WWW TMDL Links

Visit "Florida's Water - Ours to Protect"

Last updated: December 12, 2014

  2600 Blair Stone Road M.S. 3500   Tallahassee, Florida 32399   850-245-8336 (phone) / 850-245-8356 (fax) 
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