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Unpublished Paper
The Clean Water Act’s Final Frontier: Taking on Nonpoint Source Pollution Using Mandatory TMDL Rules
ExpressO (2011)
  • Jason M Stoffel
Abstract

While the Clean Water Act, as it is currently structured, has few provisions that directly regulate nonpoint source pollution, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in the case Friends of Pinto Creek v. United States EPA, 504 F.3d 1007 (9th Cir. 2007), has recognized the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program as a tool that can be used by the EPA to indirectly compel states to regulate nonpoint source pollution in the nation’s impaired waters. In the context of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, in 2010, the EPA made national headlines by pushing states to regulate nonpoint source pollution in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed through its implementation of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL Program. Focusing on these recent developments, this article analyzes the development of the TMDL program as a means through which to regulate nonpoint source pollution. Additionally, the Minnesota Clean Water Legacy Act is analyzed to examine a promising state-level nonpoint source regulatory program. This article concludes that states should be given the opportunity to address nonpoint source pollution at the local level, but if the states fail to do so, Congress should close the remaining nonpoint source regulatory gaps in the TMDL program to grant the EPA the tools needed to restore our nation’s impaired waters.

Keywords
  • Clean Water Act,
  • Total Maximum Daily Load,
  • Nonpoint source pollution,
  • Regulation,
  • Chesapeake Bay,
  • Friends of Pinto Creek
Disciplines
Publication Date
March 3, 2011
Citation Information
Jason M Stoffel. "The Clean Water Act’s Final Frontier: Taking on Nonpoint Source Pollution Using Mandatory TMDL Rules" ExpressO (2011)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jason_stoffel/2/